Quinn Buckner was head coach of the Dallas Mavericks in the 1993-1994 season.
Buckner was a winner at every level of his basketball career being one of only three people to win championships at all three levels of play (High School, College and Professional). Following a successful collegiate career under Bob Knight at Indiana, Buckner was part of the 1976 United States Olympic Gold Medal winning team.
Once in the pros he played with Milwaukee, Boston and Indiana during his 10-year career. He was a defensive specialist, who could score when needed and won the NBA Championship as part of the Boston Celtics in 1984. When Buckner retired it would be noted that he had a .619 winning percentage through college and the pro ranks.
After a stint as a television analyst with NBC, the opportunity to coach came along. A young Dallas Mavericks team needed a guiding hand and Buckner was hired on March 4, 1993 but would not begin his duties until after the '92-'93 season ended.
The Mavs had gone 11–71 the previous season, and the franchise was in disarray. Although Buckner had no NBA coaching experience, Mavericks owner Donald Carter hoped Buckner’s charismatic personality and lifelong knack for winning would rub off on the young team.
In an interview with the Arizona Republic, Buckner repeated his success formula: “Dedication, commitment, extreme concentration, discipline, and realizing it can’t be done alone, it has to be done through the team.” Believing that his young charges needed more discipline, Buckner determined from the start to be a stern taskmaster with the Mavs. The plan backfired, with many of the players (including Jamal Mashburn) complaining publicly about Buckner's methods. NBA historian Peter Bjarkman even suggested that Buckner frequently consulted with his former coach Bob Knight during the season. They started 1–23, and for a while it looked like they would break the 1972–73 Philadelphia 76ers' record for the most losses in a season. Buckner loosened the reins a little bit as the season wore on, but it was not enough to keep the team from finishing 13–69—by far the worst record in the league, and at the time the worst record ever for a rookie coach who managed to survive for a full season.
Before the season had ended team employees were advised not to include Buckner in the next season's advertising campaign. He was fired just days after the season ended.
Today, Buckner works as a television analyst for Indiana Pacers games.