The epitome of a « lifelong » trainer, Del Harris received the award to prove it on Friday
Harris, who started his NBA coaching career with the Rockets and led them to the NBA Finals in 1981, was named the recipient of the National Basketball Coaches Association’s Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award
The former head coach of the Rockets, Bucks and Lakers among his stops in 61 years in the game Harris was such a great player and respected as a basketball spirit, recognition for a life in the game was not his first Harris received the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019
The final honor, however, came from a panel of his peers Bernie Bickerstaff, Billy Cunningham, Joe Dumars, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Pat Riley, Donnie Walsh and Lenny Wilkens
“I am extremely grateful for all the honors I have received,” said Harris “This one has special meaning because of the wonderful names of those who have already received it and knowing that there are to many others who have given their professional lives to sport Coaching basketball is a special thing It’s a ministry, a service When you do it right, you fit into the lives of the players in a very special way A special relationship can be developed
« Being recognized by the people we are actually competitive against, against whom we planned and fought to fight and when it was over you respected each other makes this one different from the others »
Harris, the 1994-95 NBA Coach of the Year with the Lakers, went 556-457 in 14 seasons as a head coach He was an assistant NBA coach for 18 years and was a coached over 400 FIBA games, including a stint as coach of Yao Ming’s Chinese national team at the 2004 Athens Olympics He was an assistant under Rudy Tomjanovich at the 1998 World Championships when a team of free agents with no NBA experience won the bronze medal.
« Looking back on my life, my goal when I first started coaching was to be a little varsity coach, » said Harris “At 27, I was a coach in a small college (Earlham College) I did this for nine years It allowed me to go to Puerto Rico in the summer I had success there Tom Nissalke m ‘asked to coach with a team (the Utah Stars) from the ABA Tom got the head coach job with the Rockets Since then I work in the NBA at one position «
Harris, 83, vice-president of the Mavericks-affiliated Texas Legends G League team, became coach of the Rockets in 1979
“I have coached with many players who are now part of the Naismith Hall of Fame,” said Harris “When presented today I am introduced as the first trainer of Kobe (Bryant), the last trainer of Magic (Johnson) and the ‘Space Jam’ movement
“My first head coach job with the Rockets I had Hall of Fame members Rick Barry, Calvin Murphy, Moses Malone, Rudy Tomjanovich and before I left I had Elvin Hayes With Nellie (Don Nelson), just wonderful players I was able to help with (in Milwaukee), (Bob) Lanier, (Junior) Bridgeman, over and over again I loved them all I’m so grateful to know them If any helped, I’m happy «
Harris was the head coach or assistant of teams which included five of the top 10 scorers in NBA history, Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Shaquille O’Neal, Malone and Hayes Eight of his former assistants became NBA head coaches; two became general managers
Previous Daly Award winners were Frank Layden (2019), Doug Moe (2018), Al Attles and Hubie Brown (2017), KC Jones and Jerry Sloan (2016), Dick Motta (2015), Bickerstaff (2014) , Bill Fitch (2013), Riley (2012), Wilkens (2011), Tex Winter and Jack Ramsay (2010) and Tommy Heinsohn (2009)
« When you went through the list of those coaches who have already won this award, and knowing how great these coaches were, I coached against just about every one of them in this kind of age. ‘gold of the late’ 70s, 80s and early 90s of NBA basketball when it really became what it went on to be, « Harris said, » Just the names men on the committee, again, I have either trained against them as a coach or as a player in the case of Joe Dumars and some of the others, and I consider them friends «
« I was flexible When he called for slowing down the game, I did it If it took a moderate pace, like with the Bucks, we did it If it called for tempo, like with the Lakers, we did it With the Rockets we were able to develop a very powerful power play, but we had good shooters around There are many ways to win the game «
Jonathan Feigen has been the Rockets’ beat-maker since 1998 and a basketball enthusiast since before Willis Reed limped for Game 7 He became a sports writer because the reporter who was supposed to cover the University of Delaware basketball team decided to play one more season of college lacrosse and never looked back.
Feigen, who won APSE, APME, and United States Basketball Writers Association awards from El Campo in Houston, came to Texas in 1981 to cover the Rice Birds, was a sports writer at Garland before moving to Dallas to cover everything from the South West Conference hurray final to SMU after the death penalty
After joining the Houston Chronicle in 1990, Feigen covered the demise of the SWC, the rise of the Big 12 and the Rockets to their best level
Del Harris, Los Angeles Lakers, Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, National Basketball Coaches Association, Houston Rockets, NBA, Head coach, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Coach of the Year Award, Basketball
News from the world – United States – Former Rockets coach Del Harris wins NBCA award
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