Gary Parrish of CBS Sports reports:

The excitement and storylines are mostly gone because Vaccaro, widely regarded as the godfather of grassroots basketball, no longer is involved and available to play nemesis to the power structure. He’s instead traveling the country with his wife, Pam. He speaks a lot and relaxes often.

At 71, he has no need for the daily grind it took to run his legendary ABCD Camp outside of New York that annually highlighted the beginning of July or the Big Time tournament in Las Vegas that headlined the end.

But the tug-a-war?

Yes, Vaccaro misses that.

He’s like a fighter without a fight.

“And I miss the fight,” Vaccaro said. “I do miss that.”

The fight began in the early 1990s when Vaccaro left Nike for Adidas and began competing against the outfit he very literally helped build into the most influential sports apparel company in the world by, among other things, convincing Phil Knight to tie his brand to a young basketball player named Michael Jordan.

While with Adidas — and subsequently Reebok — Vaccaro was able to challenge and, in most cases, beat Nike for summer relevance based on his reputation and relationships he spent decades establishing.