Pete Newell diesPosted by Inside Hoops
The AP reports: Pete Newell, the Hall of Fame basketball coach who won an NCAA championship and Olympic gold medal and later tutored some of the game’s greatest big men, died Monday. He was 93. His death was confirmed by the University of California, the school Newell coached to a national title in 1959. Newell, who had been living near San Diego, had a serious lung operation in 2005. Newell coached for 14 years at San Francisco, Michigan State and California before doctors advised him to give it up because of the emotional toll. His final coaching job came in the 1960 Olympics, when he took a U.S. team led by Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Jerry Lucas to a gold medal in Rome. Newell later returned to prominence with his famous “big men” camps. He instructed some of the game’s greatest stars, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Shaquille O’Neal and Ralph Sampson.
The following statement was issued today by Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss regarding the death of former Lakers General Manager Pete Newell: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Pete Newell earlier today,” said Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss. “Pete was one of the most brilliant teachers and coaches the game has ever known, and was also an exceptional front office man as the Lakers General Manager from 1972-76. He was a great help to me when I first purchased the Lakers and he was very generous with his time and counsel. In addition to his great contributions to the basketball world, Pete was also one of the finest gentlemen we’ve known. Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the Newell family.”
The following statement was issued today by Golden State Warriors head coach Don Nelson: “This is obviously a very sad day for the game of basketball, whether you are associated with the NBA, college or high school ranks. I’ve known Pete for over 50 years and have a tremendous amount of respect for the man and his many accomplishments. Pete was a great coach and a great man who had the ability to relate to players and people on every level. A countless number of coaches and players benefitted from Pete’s tutelage over the years – including those who attended his specialized camps each summer – and will be indebted to him for the expertise and wisdom that he provided. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”