Dribbling Down Memory Lane With Bill Bradley

The former New Jersey senator reflects on days gone by.

Dollar Bill: A Sense of Bradley

Former New Jersey Senator, presidential candidate and basketball superstar Bill Bradley strolled around the set of With All Due Respect on Tuesday with Mark Halperin, playing “two adjectives and a misconception” for each of several eras of his life.



Photographer: JIM RACKWITZ/PD


High school hoopster, circa 1961

Adjectives: “Devout and possessed” (by basketball).

Misconception: “That I couldn’t dance.”



Princeton Player (1961-1965)

Adjectives: “Hardworking and focused.” (On both studies and basketball.)

Misconception: That he wasn’t well dressed. (Wardrobe by Boyd’s in St. Louis, Missouri, RIP)



19070s Knickerbocker 

Adjectives: “Unselfish, hardworking. I played a different game then—I was a role player instead of a main man.”

Misconception: “That I failed terribly in my early years with the Knicks. Well, on second thought, that probably is true.”

On his clothes, and the relative freedom of being a celebrity in New York in the ‘70s: “Bradley wouldn’t get mugged in New York because people would think he had already been mugged, based on what he was wearing. Manhattan was a place where you could be well known and still have a life.”



Senatorial Bill Bradley

Adjectives: “Young and dedicated”

Misconception: “That I was merely a plodding politician.”

At 35 years old, Bradley was the nation's youngest senator.  He's proudest of  his work on tax reform in 1986, bringing Russian students to stay with American families, and his participation in the Uruguay round of international trade negotiations.

What senator is he most like?

“I love Harry Reid. Straightforward.”



A Presidential Candidate

Adjectives: “Overweight ... and ... too much believing in his own capacities.”

Misconception: That he still didn't dance.

Could he have won that race? “Highly unlikely.”

If he could be president today without having to run, would he take the job?

“That’s ridiculous! Who wouldn’t? But those days are over for me. That's a purely hypothetical conversation.”


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