This happened last year. Another basketball tournament is over, and the champion is decided:
Two teams scored the same number in points. They were destined to play a decisive match between themselves.
So CSKA –“Spartak” (Leningrad). The fight took place in Tbilisi. I’m not a hundred well describe in detail that unforgettable meeting. I can only say that it was extremely difficult for both teams. When there was only a spot left to the end seconds, Leningraders scored the ball, went one point ahead. It seemed victory is assured to them. But somehow Spartak coach always calmly and imperturbable Vladimir Kondrashin – but that moment he could not resist and shouted to his guys:：
Fifteen seconds! The time that just enough to get out of a chair and pour yourself a glass of water. And this is incredibly short time, the army team had to change the score and their own favor. Not a single seventeen thousand basketball connoisseur, who filled the stands of the Tbilisi Sports Palace, could believe such a miracle.
And only five guys in red army club jerseys fighting in the brightly lit square of the game room, continued to believe in their star. Sharp, like a dagger blow, a pass from the end line, followed by a lightning pass and the extreme right corner of the court. Where the player with the bib number 10 has already taken a fighting position.
“Keep Belov!” again this furious warning. It will throw three mighty, tall guys at a dangerous opponent. Instantly they build whether before him it seemed irresistible a wall of bodies and raised hands, and then with some elusive movement, the soldier threw the body back, raised the ball over his head and sent it to the goal with a movement worked out to automatism.
The huge hall of the Palace froze, watching the flight of the orange ball. And when the ball, like an aerialist after a difficult combination, did not even touch the bow of the ring, dived into the net, the crowd roared. In this avalanche of delight, both the final whistle and the voice of the informant, who announced that the champion of the USSR became again team CSKA.
One name sounded under the arches of the hall for thousands of voices: Belov! Belov!
Back in 1965, coaches spotted the Sverdlovsk basketball team of Uralmash with a young defender, who accurately fired at the opponent’s basket from afar.
His name was Sergei Belov. By the end of the season, the experts summed up the results and: as they say, gasped: it turned out that in almost every game Sergei invested 20-25 points in his team’s piggy bank. Much more than many attackers in the same year, it was decided to introduce the envoy of the worker of the Urals into the national team. And a year later, when it was time for Belov to join the army, he was invited to the CSKA army club.
As you can see, outwardly, the athlete’s biography is unremarkable. However, the meteoric player’s meteoric rise had its own inner subtext, a logical explanation for the unprecedented success.
I remember how in 1969, before our national team left for the next continental championship, Belov, who by that time had the title of two-time European champion and world champion, talked with the young recruiting team.
–It’s good for you: what an enviable “baggage” you have. You don’t have to worry,” one of the newcomers told him.
“Ten years ago and I thought so.” Sergey answered this. “Then I went to my first official match in my life. He was terribly worried. But he calmed himself down: nothing, they say, in addition, I will gain experience, and this nerve will pass. But time went by no rest was foreseen. I was worried before every match like a first grader. And when he put on the Uralmash jersey, and when he entered the field as part of CSKA, and when the table was a national team player. There is no rest and, I know, there won’t. Probably, the actor is also worried before going on stage, the surgeon before the operation, the artist in front of a blank canvas. He is not worried because he is afraid of failure, but wants everything to be better today than yesterday.
In these words, Sergey Belov, lieutenant of the Soviet Army, famous master of basketball. Creative anxiety never leaves this man. Belov is is tall enough for a defender (195 cm), has an excellent jump and sharpness that allows him to pass through any defensive inclinations. It seemed would, what else do you need? It is quite possible to rely on that nature gave you so generously.
But Sergey always needed a lot. Back in the years of his sports youth, just before the Roman Olympics, he, the city’s champion among schoolchildren, told a local newspaper reporter:
I am convinced that basketball over the years will become a faster game! This forecast is complete. Belov himself came with the big sport at a time when Soviet basketball was changing its face. The sedentary giants were replaced by athletic players, virtualized players combining height, speed and technique. And the skill of young Belov flashed with such a bright light that they immediately started talking about him as the best defender of the country. What is the secret of success? Perhaps it is that Sergei always not only thought about the future basketball, but prepared himself.
Last summer I happened to visit the south, where the usual training camp of our basketball aces took place. Their days were loaded to the limit. Exercises, general physical training lessons, work on technology, two-sided games … And when there were rare breaks, the guys tried to rest, swim in the cool sea.
However, the basketball court was never empty: even when I saw Sergei there. When he practiced throws, he bombarded the ring now in the corner, then in the center, then displacement, more often in motion. Sweat rolled down his face, a huge dark spot but crawled on the shirt, and Sergei did not leave. Calmly picked after throws, he retreated into the depths of the site and started all over again. Where did he get such fanaticism? I was amazed.
-This is not fanaticism answered new national team coach Vladimir Kondrashin, it’s a big love for basketball. Sergey has it in his blood. He can play whenever he wants, as much as he wants, and with anyone. At what he fights for the victory of his team always as if he is stepping into the world championship.
Quite often, Belov is called the sniper of our basketball. True, but not quite complete definition of creative handwriting. Sergey can don’t just throw the ball well. Try taking a closer look at the master’s warm-up before the match. A shower of balls falls on the shield, and almost each of them ends its flight with a slide. Then the hit rate is amazing. But not the game begins, and — alas! Long away not all players manage to keep it.
What’s the matter? Nerves fail? Partly yes. And one more thing, the main thing: not everyone has the art of leaving under the care of an opponent, finding “a good place” to throw. Belov is not to be occupied with this art. He remains on the field alone the wisest basketball tactics. Excellent vision of the game, the synchronization of the reaction of thought and action, the ability to accurately assess the specific moment of the peculiarity of the situation。 —That quality made Belov an indispensable wallpaper for the Soviet national team.. He spent more than a hundred matches under her banner, and when he stayed so, even if the national team was lost, as happened to Ljubljana, at the last World Cup in May 1970 of the year.
Then there were two teams ahead of us. For the world champion it was serious retreat. Losers, as you know, do not pay attention. And hero-players are chosen from the winning teams. But in Ljubljana, these rules were violated. A respectable jury of the most prominent experts named the Soviet athlete the best player in the world amateur basketball. At the “Glory Cup” was awarded to the Honored Master of Sports of the USSR Sergei Belov.
He deserved this award. During championship rivals seventeen time interrupted by unlawful techniques bold attacks by Belov, his excellent exits to the shield. The referees assigned free throws to the guilty parties. Of 34 such shots, Sergei hit the target 33 times! In general, throws with games he brought his team 60 points, being in third place among the national team players.
Success, success, success … How often they turn the heads of the young! Frankly, I once asked the coach of Gomelsky and Kondrashin if they had noticed a dangerous “dizziness” in Sergei. Both answered my question the same way:
Yes, the character of Lieutenant Belov has one more enviable feature – astounding modesty, constant dissatisfaction with what has been done.
But a lot has been done. Belov already has been playing for the national team for eight years, seven for the CSKA team. For these in numbers there are others –tens of thousands of throws, thousands of kilometers measured on treadmills. After all every new day has to be met stronger than you were yesterday. This principle Sergei tends all his life.
A Life rushes ahead, like courier train, and you cannot lag behind her. It is impossible not to pass the next exam in the textbook. I am ashamed to admit to my friends that I have not yet read a new book and have not seen my favorite actor in a new role. All this is important. And yet basketball remains the eye for this person.
Recently I had conversation Sergei and asked:
“You seem to have already conquered all the peaks in sports: you were the champion of Europe, the world. Do you have an unfulfilled basketball dream now?”
“There is.” the athlete warmly responded. – This dream is the same for me and my teammates. We have every honorary titles other than the Olympic champion. It’s time to fill this gap.
“Have you been to the Olympic Games?”
“Yes, in Mexico City. But there we won only bronze. But I understood a lot. “
“And the fact that at the Games you must be in excellent physical shape and, most importantly, you must be a fighter! Furious, fearless!
Sergei Belov and our basketball squad Munich are going to the next Summer Olympics with such thoughts and a foreign mind.
Must be a fighter! Then victory will come!
所以CSKA — “Spartak”（列宁格勒）。这场比赛在第比利斯举行。我无法详细描述那场令人难忘的比赛。我只能说，这对两支球队来说都非常困难。当只剩下最后一秒的时候，列宁格勒队得了球，领先一分。似乎胜利是他们的保证。但不知为何，斯巴达克队的教练弗拉基米尔-孔德拉申总是很冷静，不慌不忙–但那一刻他忍不住了，对他的队员们喊道：”：
怎么了？神经衰弱？部分是的。还有一件事，最主要的是：不是每个人都有在对手的照顾下离开的艺术，找到 “一个好地方 “来扔。贝洛夫是不会被这种艺术所占据的。他在场上独自保持着最明智的篮球战术。优秀的比赛视野，思想和行动的同步反应，准确评估特定时刻的特殊情况的能力。 -这种品质使贝洛夫成为苏联国家队不可缺少的墙纸。他在她的旗帜下度过了一百多场比赛，当他保持这样的时候，即使国家队失去了，就像发生在卢布尔雅那，在1970年5月的最后一届世界杯上。
当时有两支球队在我们前面。对于世界冠军来说，这是严重的退缩。失败者，如你所知，并不重视。而英雄球员都是从胜利的球队中挑选出来的。但在卢布尔雅那，这些规则被违反了。一个由最著名的专家组成的可敬的陪审团将苏联运动员评为世界业余篮球的最佳球员。在 “光荣杯 “上，苏联荣誉体育大师谢尔盖-贝洛夫被授予该奖项。
成功，成功，成功… 他们经常使年轻人的头转过来! 坦率地说，我曾经问过戈麦斯基和康德拉辛的教练，他们是否注意到谢尔盖有一种危险的 “晕眩”。两人都以同样的方式回答了我的问题。
后记：他真的是非常非常非常努力的一个人，即使这种努力是不合群的也没有关系。在自己热爱的项目面前他也时刻保持清醒，就像别人都在72胜利后欢呼，而他当时还能耿耿于怀弟弟之前那一球的事。愤怒，无畏，让我想到了那一句“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”