Bill Fitch Rumors
First I just wanted to get your reaction as head of the NBA Coaches’ Association to the Hall’s decision not to induct Bill Fitch again this year. Rick Carlisle, coach, Dallas Mavericks: Well, we’re disappointed that Bill Fitch didn’t get inducted this year. We know that we need to continue to educate everyone on Coach Fitch’s accomplishments, because they are unique. He’s third all time in games coached with over 2500. He took five different franchises to deep lottery to either championships, Finals, Conference Finals, or playoff success. When you take on those kinds of challenges, you’re going to have more losses. His coaching record doesn’t shine as bright as some other people that are in (ed note: Fitch has a career .460 win percentage), but with over 25 years of longevity and some of the things he did to change the game, for example, he was one of the early guys using video, to teach players and for scouting. He was a pioneer in that area. He’s one of the most well-thought of competitors in the history of our game.
Kentucky coach John Calipari and four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dikembe Mutombo are among the finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2015 class. The Hall of Fame announced its 2015 nominees Saturday. The Class of 2015 will be announced April 6. Calipari and Mutombo are joined by longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta, five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, three-time All-Star Kevin Johnson, three-time WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, seven-time All-Star Jo Jo White, four-time All-Star Spencer Haywood, former NBA coach Bill Fitch and high school coaches Robert Hughes and Leta Andrews as finalists.
Bill Fitch, who won one NBA championship and took another team to the NBA Finals,was not selected for entry into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in his first try as a finalist. Fitch led the Boston Celtics to the NBA championship in 1981 when they beat the Houston Rockets in the finals. Five years later he led the Rockets to the NBA Finals before losing to the Celtics. “There’s no bitterness at all,” Fitch said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “Somebody must have thought something of me or I wouldn’t have made it this far.”