Archive for June 13th, 2010

Hawks hire Larry Drew as head coach

Atlanta Hawks Executive Vice President/General Manager Rick Sund announced today that Larry Drew has been hired as the team’s new head coach.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

“We are very pleased to welcome Larry as the new head coach of the Atlanta Hawks,” said Sund.  “After aggressively going through the interview process with all of the candidates it became clear, with his knowledge of the game as well as his experience as player and assistant coach, he had the qualities we were looking for to lead our club.  Over the last few years, a number of teams have had success hiring from within and we feel he is more than ready for the challenge.”

Drew, a native of Kansas City, MO, becomes the 11th head coach in Atlanta Hawks history after spending the last six seasons as the lead Hawks assistant under Mike Woodson.  Over the last three years, Drew has helped Atlanta reach postseason play, with second round appearances in each of the last two seasons.

“It has been a long journey to reach this level in my career and I’m very appreciative of the support I’ve been given by the ownership group and Rick,” said Drew.  “I’m excited about the opportunity to become a head coach in this league, and I will do my very best to continue to build on what we’ve accomplished here in Atlanta.”

A student of the game with extensive NBA experience as a player or coach, Drew has been associated with the NBA over the last 27 years, ten of them as a player.

Before arriving in Atlanta, Drew was an assistant with the New Jersey Nets and Byron Scott after spending the previous three seasons with the Washington Wizards in a similar capacity (2000-03) under Doug Collins.  Prior to that, he re-joined one of the teams he previously played for, the Detroit Pistons, as an assistant coach in 1999-2000.  Drew returned to Detroit as an assistant under Alvin Gentry, for the first time since playing as an NBA rookie with the Pistons in 1980-81.  His coaching career began in 1992-93 when he broke into the ranks with another of his former teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, whom he played for from 1989-91.

An 11-year professional, Drew averaged 11.4 points and 5.2 assists in 714 career games for four NBA teams.  After one season in Detroit, he played the next five years with the Kings, in Kansas City and Sacramento (1981-86), and his final four in Los Angeles (1986-91), for the Clippers and the Lakers.  Drew also played one season internationally, 1988-89, with Scavolini of the Italian League.

He was a first round selection in the 1980 NBA Draft – 17th overall by the Pistons – and he reached postseason play four times in his professional career (31 games).  Drew recorded his best season during the 1982-83 campaign, when he averaged 20.1 points, 8.1 assists and 1.7 steals for Kansas City.

Born April 2, 1958 in Kansas City, Drew played four seasons at the University of Missouri, where he averaged 12.0 points and 2.8 rebounds after a stellar high school career locally at Wyandotte High.  He and his wife Sharon have three children, Larry, Landon and Lindsey.  Drew’s son, Larry II, just finished his second basketball season under Roy Williams at the University of North Carolina, and each of his children have participated in the Larry Drew Advanced Guard Academy, a set of summer basketball camps the elder Drew has conducted in the Los Angeles area and across the country.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reports:

As television ratings show, those in the NBA community love the Lakers and Celtics. They love the rivalry. They love the East Coast-West Coast matchup. They love the contrast in cities.

But the NBA appears to embrace Los Angeles more than Boston in one very beneficial way. The league awarded Los Angeles the 2011 All-Star Game, the second time in eight years it has hosted the game. Meanwhile, Boston has not hosted an NBA All-Star Game since 1964, despite having one of the league’s newer arenas and a team re-emerging as one of the elite.

And it’s not for lack of trying. According to Celtics majority owner Wyc Grousbeck, the city has submitted applications several times, only to be denied.

In past years, commissioner David Stern has rewarded cities that have new arenas with All-Star Games. Orlando is set to open its new venue next season, and Stern quickly handed Central Florida the 2012 All-Star Game, its second in 20 years. Atlanta, Houston, Denver, Philadelphia, Washington, and Oakland were presented with All-Star Games after constructing new arenas.

Andrew Bynum ready for Game 5

Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

Andrew Bynum ready for Game 5

Lakers starting center Andrew Bynum on Saturday pronounced himself “100 percent” for tonight’s NBA Finals Game 5 at TD Garden.

After playing only two minutes in the second half of Game 4, and just 12 minutes total, Bynum had an MRI on Friday on his sore right knee to be certain no additional physical damage had occurred, and then had fluid drained for the second time in the past two weeks.

Bynum is playing through the pain of a torn right meniscus cartilage and first had the knee drained June 1, two days before Game 1.

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