HoopsHype Dan Issel rumors
Where are they? A look at the whereabouts of members of the 1993-94 Nuggets: Coach Dan Issel: Working in the oil and gas industry for a Windsor company. Broadcaster for a couple of Nuggets games this season. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf: Lives in suburban Atlanta. Gives private basketball training sessions. LaPhonso Ellis: College basketball analyst at ESPN. Tom Hammonds: Went into drag racing after 12-year NBA career. Briefly owned a car dealership in South Carolina. Now in the construction business in Florida. Reggie Williams: Resigned in September as coach of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. Rodney Rogers: Paralyzed as a result of a dirt bike accident in 2008. Lives in North Carolina. Brian Williams (Bison Dele): Presumed dead after disappearing during a sailing trip in 2002. Robert Pack: Assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bryant Stith: Assistant coach at Old Dominion University. Dikembe Mutombo: Humanitarian and NBA global ambassador. Denver Post
Former Nuggets player, coach and executive Dan Issel is scheduled to work as an analyst alongside play-by-play man Chris Marlowe for Denver's next two telecasts on Altitude Sports & Entertainment. Issel is set to fill in Wednesday and Friday for Scott Hastings, who is doing broadcast work as part of the Super Bowl coverage this week in New York and New Jersey. NBA.com
The Nuggets were expecting to have a day off after returning from the trip, which was normal for a team that had just played on consecutive nights. Still seething from losing to a poor Celtics team, Issel instead scheduled practice for 11 a.m. – only seven hours after the team had touched down in Denver following a return flight that had necessitated a stop in Nebraska to refuel. “It was my fault,” Issel said this week, “because you should never call a practice as punishment.” Yahoo! Sports
After Issel ordered the practice, Nuggets captains Nick Van Exel and George McCloud called for a boycott. Ryan Bowen, James Posey, Tariq Abdul-Wahad, Calbert Cheaney and Terry Davis showed, but eventually went home when no one else arrived. The incident caused a national stir in the sports world, and CNN even sent a crew to report on the Nuggets’ next home game. The Nuggets rebounded to win 15 of 19 games during one stretch, but still finished shy of the playoffs with a 40-42 record. Issel thinks the team was scarred by the boycott, and he suspects the same for the Pistons. “I’m sure John Kuester has made some of the mistakes that I made,” Issel said. “But the reality is, once something like that happens it’s never going to be the same. John has lost part of his reputation as a coach in the NBA. The players have probably lost something as well. Yahoo! Sports
A little less than eight years later, Issel filed for bankruptcy, claiming $4.5 million in debt owed to at least 34 creditors, including family, friends and a company that trained race horses. Two months later, he auctioned his 1970 Kentucky class ring, a 1975 25th anniversary ABA All-Star ring and a 1989 NBA All-Star ring to help pay off his debts. “I don’t know if I had any other choice than to do what I did,” Issel said. “It was terribly embarrassing. People had confidence in my ability as a businessman. That’s why they loaned me the money in the first place. “But it’s not like I gambled my money away. I’m not addicted to drugs. It was bad luck and bad timing and bad decisions.” Yahoo! Sports
Issel now lives in Los Angeles where he is executive director at Bel Air Presbyterian Church. He loves his job and isn’t looking to return to coaching or an NBA front office. About the only basketball job that could attract him would be some part-time work as a TV analyst. For now, he is content to attend UCLA games and practices as a guest of Bruins coach Ben Howland, who attends his church. “I’ve got a wonderful family that loves and supports me,” Issel said. “I got a nice job. I got my health. I’m doing well. I’m trying to move on.” Yahoo! Sports
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