Lenny Wilkens life and biography

Lenny Wilkens picture, image, poster

Lenny Wilkens biography

Date of birth : 1937-10-28
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Brooklyn, New York
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 0000-00-00
Credited as : basketball player, NBA coach, NBA-All Stars

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Lenny Wilkens is a retired American basketball player and coach in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has been inducted three times into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, first in 1989 as a player, as a coach in 1998, and as part of the 1992 United States Olympic "Dream Team", for which he was an assistant coach. From the 1994–95 season until the 2009–10 season, Wilkens was the all-time winningest coach in NBA history and retired still holding the record at 1,332 victories. Wilkens is now second on the list behind Don Nelson.

Considering he led the Supersonics to their only championship in 1979, coach Lenny Wilkens deserves some love from the Seattle faithful. But it was his scripting of unselfish offensive dynamics surrounding strong defensive play that truly got the best out of Wilkens' players.

While he remains only three wins behind Don Nelson for most career regular-season victories (1,332), Wilkens does have five more postseason victories.

Career highlights and awards: As player
9× NBA All-Star (1963–1965, 1967–1971, 1973)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (1971)
Consensus NCAA All-American Second Team (1960)
NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
No. 19 Retired by the Seattle SuperSonics

Career highlights and awards: As coach
NBA champion (1979)
NBA Coach of the Year (1994)
Named one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History
Gold medal winner at the Olympic Games (1996)

He ranks among the all-time leaders in assists, free throws and games played. At the time of his retirement, he was the NBA's second all-time leading playmaker. He was a nine-time NBA All-Star and was named Most Valuable Player in the 1971 All-Star Game. From 1961 to 1969, he also served as Vice President of the NBA Players Association. His record as a player earned him induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989.

At the end of his playing days, Wilkens continued his coaching career in the NBA. He served the Seattle SuperSonics as both Head Coach and General Manager, leading them to an NBA Championship in 1979. He coached the Cleveland Cavaliers for six seasons, and was Head Coach of the Atlanta Hawks from 1993 to 2000. In three of those seasons, Wilkens led the Hawks to 50 victories, including two consecutive 50-win seasons. During his coaching career, Wilkens also served as President of the NBA Coaches Association and was active in the U.S. Olympic basketball program. Wilkens received two Olympic gold medals, as Assistant Coach of the 1992 U.S. "Dream Team," and as Head Coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic basketball team, a second consecutive Olympic championship.

In 1994, Wilkens was named NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Hawks to a 57-25 mark, the best record in the Eastern Conference. He also served as a head coach in four NBA All-Star Games. He became the NBA's winningest coach on January 6, 1995, when he guided the Hawks to a 112-90 win over Washington for his 939th career win, surpassing Red Auerbach's 938.

Later that year, he became the first coach in NBA history to break the 1,000-victory threshold. After the 1997-98 season, he was named to the NBA's list of the 50 Greatest Players -- and Top 10 Coaches -- in the league's history.

On November 29, 2006 he was hired as vice chairman of the Seattle SuperSonics' ownership group, and was later named the Sonics' President of Basketball Operations on April 27, 2007. On July 6, 2007 Wilkens resigned from the Sonics organization. Wilkens currently is seen on Northwest FSN Studio as a College Hoops analyst and occasionally appears on College Hoops Northwest at game nights. He is the founder of the Lenny Wilkens Foundation for Children.

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