Hall of Fame Rumors

As a coach, Heinsohn won NBA titles in 1974 and ’76, and finished with a .619 winning percentage in 8½ seasons. “I had fun coaching,” he told the Globe. “I loved management before I coached. I was in the management end of the life insurance business. I managed an agency for four years, managing and training supervisors. And when the opportunity came to coach, I jumped at it because I’d be dealing with more motivated people. Being a coach becomes very political after awhile. That was not my forte.”
In negotiations with the Nuggets, Mutombo’s agent, David Falk, was seeking a 10-year deal, Bickerstaff said. “That’s something we should have done,” he said. “We tried. We offered it, but ownership didn’t want to go that far out, in terms of a 10-year deal. It’s like when Magic got that long deal, everyone was asking ‘Why would you do that?’ That was a terrific deal when you start talking about the present value of money. But that’s really the only regret you had, that you didn’t (re-sign) him.”
According to Bickerstaff there was a lot of work being done behind the scenes to secure Mutombo’s stay in Denver. “David Falk and those guys, they tried to work with us because Mutombo, he wanted to stay,” Bickerstaff said. “Falk tried to work with us in terms of trying to acquire other players (to clear money). The organization at the time just didn’t have the resources. It’s that simple. Because if we could have kept that group together, that was a pretty good team.”
We focus so much on the imagery that we forget what he did to earn it. Mutombo averaged slightly more than six blocked shots per game in that upset of the Seattle SuperSonics, setting a record for a five-game series. “You think about the six blocks,” his Nuggets teammate Robert Pack said. “But you think about maybe the other seven that he altered and maybe the five more that he just discouraged guys from coming into the lane.”