Lenny Wilkens Rumors
Wilkens was in the military, something he says few people actually know. He went to Providence College and was in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for four years. When he graduated, Wilkens was a second lieutenant. He went on to be stationed at Fort Lee in Virginia. And, in terms of players kneeling for the flag, he doesn’t see it as disrespect. “I was in the military. I understand what the flag means,” Wilkens said. “The flag means we should be proud Americans and we should speak up against injustice. And that’s what these young men were doing. They didn’t soil the flag. They didn’t spit on it or anything. The flag gives us the right to bring attention to what’s not right.”
Spurs great David Robinson was in New York this week to help accept the George M. Steinbrenner III Sport Leadership Award on behalf of the 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team. Fellow Hall of Famers’ Clyde Drexler and Lenny Wilkens, who was one of the team’s assistant coaches, accompanied Robinson to the United States Olympic Endowment’s annual luncheon.
“I’ll say this,” Karl said. “I don’t know if you want to write it. But I know it’s No. 5 because it’s Phil Jackson.” He gave a quick laugh. “Because no one has kicked my ass often as Phil Jackson. So I know that. Do I know the order of one, two three, four? I know Nellie’s one. I don’t know whose two, three, four. I think I know who they are, but I don’t know who’s two or who’s three or who’s four. I have no numbers. But I can’t deny that I know it’s five because it’s Phil Jackson.” His friend Nelson is first, with 1,335 victories. Lenny Wilkens is second, 1,332. Jerry Sloan third, at 1,221. Pat Riley fourth, 1,210. Jackson fifth, 1,155.
Q: Who are the coaches that have influenced you most as you worked your way up the coaching ladder? Mark Price: All my coaches. I feel fortunate. I had the opportunity to play under some great coaches along the way. My dad being my first coach I was around all the time, going on to Bobby Cremins in college (at Georgia Tech) and the chance to play under him, and then moving into the NBA with Lenny Wilkens my first seven years when I got in the pros. I would probably say I learned something from all of them. Then it’s just about kind of developing my own style with my personality and taking the great things that I’ve learned from all my coaches over the years and trying to incorporate them into what I want to do.
Q: Lenny Wilkens is obviously the one who stands out from your playing career. Is there one or two coaches that you feel have had the biggest influence on you from when you were an assistant coach? MP: Obviously I had a chance to work under guys like Stan Van Gundy and Steve Clifford the last two years in Charlotte, who was a Van Gundy disciple himself. I really learned a lot. Both of those guys were extremely organized and detailed in what they did in their approach. I learned a lot getting an opportunity to work alongside those guys.