Marc J. Spears: Nuggets Retired Numbers: (2) Alex English (33) David Thompson (40) Byron Beck (44) Dan Issel (432) Doug Moe Guessing Dikembe Mutombo next.
Doug Moe Rumors
Moe is home in San Antonio and talking about how tough it is not to work. He and “Big Jane,” his wife, are embarking on a cruise this month. Then he’ll find time to come to Denver for a few days and watch the Nuggets. He can’t remember how or why he started calling people “stiffs.” It’s his trademark. “I call everybody a stiff,” Moe said. “I’m one, too.”
Moe was a genius with numbers and it helped him as a coach. He could be given two lines of five digits each verbally and multiply the two lines in his head. When he got his break to coach the Nuggets, it came at the expense of Walsh. The ties weren’t set aside easily. “Donnie was a friend of mine,” Moe said. “We had talked about the possibility of something happening so it wasn’t a shock. It was hard.”
Bill Hanzlik, who played for the Nuggets from 1982-90, puts his old coach in a category all his own. Hanzlik became a pet target of Moe’s motivational skills that at times were heard throughout McNichols Sports Arena from the end of the Nuggets bench. Moe could be unconventional in his game strategy too. On one occasion against the Los Angeles Lakers, Moe had the 6-foot-7 Hanzlik guarding 7-4 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. “Doug wasn’t from a different part of the universe; he was from a different galaxy that no one else has touched,” Hanzlik said. “He played the game with simplicity, but he could motivate the heck out of his players.”
The Heat have performed well in these situations under coach Erik Spoelstra. According to Elias, Miami is 5-0 in playoff-series opening games at home under Spoelstra, and only four other head coaches in NBA history were 5-0 or better in series-opening home games: Doug Moe (8-0), Mike Dunleavy (6-0), Fred Schaus (5-0) and Bill Russell (5-0).