Dallas Mavericks: Rick Majerus

Rick Majerus' death felt deeply in Dallas

December, 2, 2012
12/02/12
4:26
PM CT
Rick Majerus' solitary season on an NBA bench in 1986-87 was spent as a Milwaukee Bucks assistant to head coach Don Nelson and sidekick to then-Bucks assistant Del Harris. Nelson and Harris quickly became two of Majerus' closest friends in the game.

The longtime college basketball coach's passing Saturday was thus felt deeply in Dallas, where the Nelson-and-Harris tag team remains firmly entrenched after they reunited with the Mavericks from 2000 through 2007 alongside current Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson.

Said Harris on Sunday: "Rick will be known by his friends and those players who followed him closely by one short sentence: He cared.

"Regardless of how demanding he was, Rick proved his love for friends and players past and present in a myriad of ways. I have recorded and saved voicemails he has sent me and my son Dominic has saved encouraging letters Rick sent him from years past. Obviously I could go on and on.

"He had tons of friends (in the game). He was totally dedicated to his family, particularly caring for his mother after his father died. He called me the brother he never had and I suspect he used that expression a lot."

Majerus died Saturday at 64 after a lengthy battle with heart disease and a career filled with NCAA successes at Marquette, Ball State, Utah and Saint Louis. He was likewise close to Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, meeting Rivers as a kid and calling him "Doc" before anyone after seeing him at a Marquette summer camp in Dr. J T-shirt.

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