Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Yearbook, Nov. 21: Bill Fitch loses 1,000th
By Patrick Dorsey
Nov. 21, 1996: On this day 16 years ago, Bill Fitch gained a dubious distinction -- when the Los Angeles Clippers lost 105-94 to the Dallas Mavericks, he became the first coach in NBA history to lose 1,000 games.
That's not to mock Mr. Fitch -- it takes a lot to be able to coach 1,000 games, let alone lose that many. In truth, Fitch -- who retired after the following season -- finished his career with 944 wins, two NBA Coach of the Year awards, a trip to the NBA Finals in 1986 with the Houston Rockets ... and an NBA championship in 1981, during his four-year stint with the Boston Celtics.
Fitch, left, receiving his 1981 NBA Championship ring from Larry O'Brien.
Fitch, with center Ralph Sampson in 1985 while with the Houston Rockets.