Bob Ociepka Rumors
Ociepka, 63, has worked in the NBA for 22 years and brings over 30 years of coaching experience to the Clippers sideline. The Chicago native returns to Los Angeles for his second stint with the Clippers after serving as an assistant coach from 1993-96 under Bob Weiss and Bill Fitch. Ociepka was an assistant coach for Del Negro with the Chicago Bulls from 2008-10.
Del Negro was fired at the end of last season after a pair of 41-41 campaigns and two first-round playoff eliminations. “I was disappointed in the way it finished,” Ociepka says, “but I’m lucky to be in Portland. I love the atmosphere here, the support of the administration, the coaching staff and the way everybody works together without egos. “And working for Nate. Of the 16 coaches I’ve worked for, he’s the best. I’m not just saying that. He always knows what to say, how to say it and when to say it. “Coaches have told me in the past you can’t have 82 pep talks a season, that the players have to get themselves ready sometimes at this level. Well, Nate has had 82- plus – one for every game, one for every one of the playoffs and numerous ones in between. It’s been a tremendous learning experience for me, watching him do his thing.”
Bob Ociepka knows basketball. The man has been a coach for more than four decades, since graduation from Quincy (Ill.) College in 1970. He has made 11 stops with 10 teams (Detroit twice) during a 22-year voyage as an NBA assistant coach, joining on with the Trail Blazers this season. Ociepka, 62, knows mobster movies, too. He has seen virtually all of them, beginning with James Cagney flicks of the ’30s to the present.