Bernard King and Rick Pitino go way back — and now they will go into the basketball Hall of Fame together. The two are part of a class of 12 who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on Sept. 8 at Springfield, Mass. Most of the class was announced Monday at the Final Four. Pitino was a young assistant with the Knicks from 1983-85 when he forged a relationship with King, one of the most feared scorers in his playing days. "I remember Rick as a very young coach, a coach starting his career, a coach who knew the game," said King, who averaged 22.0 points in his 15-year NBA career and 34.8 in the 1984 NBA playoffs. "I remember Rick came with me to the NBA All-Star game and we were flying from Denver to San Antonio. We talked a lot about that even though we had some injuries, we had to get off to a good start. "That first game in San Antonio I scored 50 points. The next day in Dallas I … scored 50 points again. I guess you can say this [honor] is the culmination of my life in basketball." King, a small forward, started in the NBA with the Nets in 1977 and also played for Utah and Golden State before his heyday with the Knicks. The Brooklyn native then moved on to Washington before ending his career with a return to the Nets for the 1992-93 season. Pitino went on to become head coach of the Knicks and later coached the Boston Celtics. He is, however, known far and away for his work in the college ranks. Pitino is the only coach to take three schools to the Final Four, and going into Monday night's title game with Louisville, he had won 661 games in 28 seasons as a college coach. His 47-16 record (.746) in the NCAA tournament was the third-highest winning percentage among active coaches. He won it all with Kentucky in 1996. A win by Louisville over Michigan would have made him the first coach to win a title at two schools.
A King and a coach honored
Bergen Record | Apr 9