Richie Guerin was one of the most prolific basketball players of his generation. He played for the NBA for the St. Louis Hawks, now Atlanta Hawks. A 6’5” guard, he was known for his shooting ability and attacking style of play. He was a five-time All-Star during his 15-year NBA career and served as head coach of the New York Knicks for four seasons.

Player’s Profile

Born in New York City in 1931, Richard Vincent Guerin began playing basketball early. He quickly became a star player at George Washington High School, leading his team to the city championship game. He enrolled at Iona College upon graduation, where he continued to excel on the court. As a junior, he averaged 25 points per game and was named an All-American by multiple publications.

Career

Upon graduating from college, Guerin was drafted by the New York Knicks as the sixth overall pick in the 1954 NBA Draft. He immediately had an impact, averaging 15 points per game during his rookie season. Over the next decade, Guerin would establish himself as one of the league’s top players. He averaged over 20 points per game eight times during his career and was named six straight All-Star Games from 1959 to 1964. In 1961, he led the Knicks to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games.

Position Point Guard
Height / weight 1.93 m / 88 kg
Born 29 May 1932
Nationality United States United States
Team History
212 atlanta hawks Atlanta 1963 - 1970
204 new york knicks New York 1956 - 1963

Guerin retired from playing in 1967 and took over as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks later that year. In his first season at the helm, he guided the Hawks to an impressive 58-22 record, which remains the second-best mark in franchise history. Guerin led Atlanta to its only NBA title the following year, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in four games. He would coach Atlanta for parts of eight seasons before stepping down in 1976.

Richie Guerin had a decorated basketball career at collegiate and professional levels. He is also remembered as one of basketball’s most colorful characters. After retiring from coaching, he became a television analyst for Knicks games and continued to be involved with basketball until his passing in 2013.

Achievements

  • 1958-1963 NBA All-Star
  • 1959-60, 1962 All-NBA Second Team

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