Posts Tagged ‘Jack Ramsay’

Riley Wins Chuck Daly Award

MIAMI – LeBron James isn’t the only member of the Miami Heat family to collect a little postseason hardware. The three-time KIA MVP was joined Tuesday by Heat president Pat Riley, who won the National Basketball Coaches Association 2012 Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award.

A member of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame’s Class of 2008, Riley adds this latest honor to his long list of achievements. One of the most accomplished coaches and team executives in NBA history, Riley has spent 43 years in the league as a player, coach and executive.

“It’s good to be back … for a minute,” a smiling Riley said from the podium at AmericanAirlines Arena Tuesday night, where he received the award before Game 4 of The Finals between his Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder. “Chuck and I were rivals back in the 80s but there’s a connection that goes back so long.”

Riley praised Daly and all the coaches he’s competed against and learned from in his four decades, and counting, in basketball.

“The only thing I know anything about in my life has been taught to me by coaches,” he said. But he stopped short of saying he’d rather be back on the bench than orchestrating from behind the scenes.

“As far as me missing it, I don’t miss it,” he said. “I feel it in the gut right now. We have a very, very good young coach who’s growing leaps and bounds. I did 30 years. That’s enough.”

Riley joins a distinguished list of coaches who have won the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award. Prior winners include Lenny Wilkens in 2011, Tex Winter and Jack Ramsay in 2010 and Tommy Heinsohn in 2009.

Heat join the instant-contender ranks

Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday when the Heat were a team with one All-Star struggling to keep their heads above water in the playoffs.

Well, actually it was.

Then, barely 11 months ago, LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade on stage at American Airlines Arena for that smoke and laser light show. Which brings to mind a few other NBA teams that have made the rapid ascent from middling to championship contender.

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About Last Night

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat helped finish off the first weekend of the NBA season in fine fashion.

It’s good to have you back basketball. I think we can all agree on that.

The highlights from Sunday’s four-game slate can be found here in the Daily Zap:

Check out the Top 10 plays, too:

We hate to end on a sad note, but the NBA family lost one of its own over the weekend.

Portland Trail Blazers’ legend Maurice Lucas passed away at 58 after battling bladder cancer for the past two and a half years. My main man Jason Quick of the Oregonian broke the sad news Sunday night and also caught up with legendary Blazers coach Jack Ramsay, who described Lucas as the “strength” and “heart” of the Blazers’ 1977 Championship team:

Ramsay said Lucas should go down as one of the best Blazers, simply because he was the driving force, with Bill Walton, on the 1977 Championship team.

“He was the strength of the team,’’ Ramsay said. “He was The Enforcer. He was really the heart of that team. And he liked the role. He enjoyed it. He really liked being the enforcer-type player.

“Plus, he was highly skilled. A great rebounder. A great outlet passer. Threw bullets for his outlet pass. Then he could score on the post, make jump shots on the perimeter. But mostly, it was his physical persona that he carried with him that made us a different team.’’

Ramsay said Lucas “significantly” changed the momentum of the 1977 NBA Finals when he clocked Philadelphia big man Darryl Dawkins for throwing Blazers forward Bobby Gross to the floor. After a skirmish and both players being ejected, the fight became the talk of the series, even as the Blazers trailed 0-2.

But with the series coming to Portland, Lucas devised a plan. He would nip the controversy in the bud, and play a mind trick in the process.

During player introductions, after Dawkins was booed unmercifully by the Memorial Coliseum crowd, Lucas was introduced. But instead of running to where his teammates were standing, Lucas ran to the Philadelphia bench and found a stunned Dawkins.

He grabbed Dawkins’ hand and shook it, later saying he told him “No hard feelings.”

“I don’t think he said or told anybody what he would do, and I was startled myself when I saw him go over to Dawkins,’’ Ramsay said. “But it was a great tactic.’’

The Blazers never lost again, winning four straight to win the series in six games.

Rest In Peace Maurice Lucas!

Winter, Ramsay Share Daly Award

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Posted by Sekou Smith

LOS ANGELES – Triangle offense guru Tex Winter and legendary coach and basketball commentator Dr. Jack Ramsay shared the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, handed out before Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday night at Staples Center.

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, president of the NBA Coaches Association, was on hand to deliver the award to the coaching giants. Tommy Heinsohn received the inaugural award named in of Daly, who won back-to-back championships with the Detroit Pistons and coached the Dream Team to an Olympic gold medal during his Hall of Fame career. Daly died last year of pancreatic cancer.

“I’m honored to receive this award,” Ramsay said. “Chuck was a special guy in het way that he coached, the way that he dressed, the way that he got his teams to play the game that he wanted them to play, without an overbearing presence on the team. I think it’s very fitting that the coaches association has named an award in his honor. And I’m especially fortunate and honored to receive this award … and I’m honored to share this honor with Tex.”

Ramsay guided the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA title in 1977 and remains one of the game’s global voices for his work as a coach and broadcaster. The offensive architect for nine title teams under Phil Jackson, six in Chicago and three with the Lakers, Winter received a 10th ring from the Lakers after they won the 2009 title (below).

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