Johnny Bach Rumors

As a coach in both college and the NBA, as someone who drew a paycheck from the Boston Celtics before Red Auerbach ever did, as a lifelong teacher and role model for players across eight decades, Bach has checked most of the boxes and drawn a few more at the bottom of any eligibility sheet for the hoops Hall. Donald “Taps” Gallagher was hoping that he and Bach would be there too, as the happy outcome of Gallagher’s nomination of the veteran coach last year. Gallagher — an attorney in the Chicago area and a co-author of the book “Stolen Glory: The U.S., the Soviet Union and the Olympic Basketball Game That Never Ended” — got to know Bach while doing research for the story of the 1972 U.S. men’s team that got thwarted in their quest of gold medals in Munich that summer. Bach was an assistant on coach Hank Iba’s staff, alongside Don Haskins. “He’s been a head coach in college [Fordham 1949-1968, Penn State 1969-1978], a head coach in the NBA [Golden State, 1979-1980, 1983-1986],” said Gallagher. “He played in the league, he was an assistant when the Bulls won their first three championships. He deserves the credit for their ‘Doberman defense.’ He’s the one who really architected zone defense in basketball — there are not many people who could say they were on the same page as him with zone defense. “If the HOF is based on your contributions to basketball, he’s contributed his whole life to basketball. How did Tex Winter get in?”