Richie Adubato

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Richie Adubato
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Richie Adubato
Born: 11/23/1937
Birthplace: Irvington, NJ
College: William Paterson College
Mavs Tenure: 1989-1993

Richie Adubato was named the Head Coach of the Dallas Mavericks on November 29, 1989 upon the dismissal of John MacLeod.

Adubato began his career coaching 18 years in High Schools and small Colleges in his native New Jersey. The NBA doors opened for him when he was named an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons in the '70s. The Pistons also afforded him his first head coaching opportunity when he was named interim coach following the dismissal of Dick Vitale. The Pistons were 12-58 under Adubato the remainder of that season.

After spending four seasons on Hubie Brown's staff with the New York Knicks, Adubato joined the Mavericks as Dick Motta's assistant following the departure of Bob Weiss. Things moved fast in Dallas as, after just one season and a disappointing first-round playoff loss to Seattle, Motta abruptly resigned.

Known for his defensive teachings, there was no doubt Adubato would stay with Dallas when a new coach came on-board. That's exactly what happened when the Mavs named John MacLeod as Head Coach and together, thet first season, the two of them led the Mavericks to a place they had never been before, the NBA Western Conference Finals. Dallas lost a heartbreaker of a series in seven games but things were looking bright for the team's future.

Not quite going as planned, the Mavs fell to a disappointing 38-44 in 1988-1989, due in part to Roy Tarpley's suspension and a devastating knee injury to James Donaldson. The next season started off no better and MacLeod was dismissed after eleven games with the team at 5-6. Thus began the Richie Adubato era.

The team had a resurgence under Adubato, going 42-29 the remainder of the 1989-1990 campaign and returning to the NBA Playoffs. Despite losing to Portland in the first round, hopes were again high for the Mavericks.

The next season, Adubato's first full year as Head Coach, began promisingly enough with the team starting out 4-1. It was then that Dallas lost both Roy Tarpley and Fat Lever to season-ending knee injuries...a blow the team could not recover from. The year spiraled out of control and Dallas finished the season at 28-54.

Adubato was forced to rebuild the Mavs in the 1991-1992 campaign and the results were expectedly ugly. Dallas endured a 15-game losing streak during the year and a 26-game road losing streak at one point. He had to start three rookies (Donald Hodge, Doug Smith and Mike Iuzzolino) over the final 21 games and twice, during the season, Adubato had four rookies starting. In his own words, there were points in the season when he had the equivalent of a CBA team on the floor.

Things only got worse the next season and on January 13, 1993, with the team at 2-27, Adubato was relieved of his duties.

He joined the staff of the Orlando Magic and less than two years later was again a Head Coach after the Magic fired Brian Hill. Adubato led Orlando to a 21-12 recored over the remainder of the season.

His professional career took an unexpected turn in 1999 when he joined the WNBA's New York Liberty as Head Coach. In five seasons with the Liberty, Adubato won two Eastern Conference titles and was Head Coach of the WNBA Eastern Conference All-Star team twice.

The Washington Mystics hired Adubato in 2005 and he coached two full seasons before resigning early in the 2007 campaign when the team got off to an 0-4 start.

Today, Adubato is the color analyst for the Orlando Magic's radio broadcasts.