Mike Looks Back

Came across this New York Times Q&A with sportswriter Vincent Mallozzi from when I first joined YES.

How did you get the nickname The Czar of the Telestrator? 

That came from my first-ever broadcast with Marv on NBC. We had been working on some stuff in the weeks before we went on the air, and I guess Marv appreciated the way I was able to handle the Telestrator, so that’s how he introduced me to the national television audience that first day. I had no idea it was coming

Who was the greatest player you ever coached?

Dominique Wilkins. He was a great competitor who had such a zeal for the game of basketball. He was a phenomenal dunker who loved it most when one of those great dunks really got our fans going. Before Dominique got to Atlanta, we had sold about 3,300 season tickets and averaged about 5,800 fans per game. By the time I left seven years later, the Hawks had 13,000 season tickets sold and average attendance was 15,000 per game…. Keep Reading!

On the Road with Mike

Flew into San Antonio for Tuesday’s Nets-Spurs matchup on YES and got a chance to spend some time with the architect of the most envied program in the NBA, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

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More From Mike

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Mike Looks Back

So proud of my good friend Rollie Massimino, who was recently inducted to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. I was one of Rollie’s assistant coaches at Villanova University from 1975-1978. VUhoops.com contributor Ed Donohue took a look at where we 1975-76 Villanova Wildcats wound up.

A. Rollie Massimino, Head Coach (3rd season): Under Massimino, the Wildcats compiled a record of 357-241 (.596) over 19 seasons. During his tenure, Villanova abandoned its independent status by joining the newly-formed Eastern Eight Conference in 1975. In 1980, the ‘Cats moved into Big East Conference. In the NCAA Tournament, Massimino had a 20-10 record (.667). He led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament eleven times, winning the Championship in 1985. His teams reached the Final Eight five times in an eleven-year span: 1978, 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1988. Rollie was inducted into the Big Five Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013… Read more!

Czar’s Got Heart

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Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley is one of the greatest high school coaches in our country. He has dedicated his life to producing terrific basketball players and outstanding young men at St. Anthony High School.

Coach Hurley is campaigning to raise awareness about St. Anthony and to secure financial stability for the Jersey City school for years to come. CLICK HERE for more information about how you can help St. Anthony preserve its legacy of academic and athletic excellence.

Yesterday I spoke with Krista Saponora, the executive producer of the award-winning film The Street Stops Here, about the important work Coach Hurley has done and the major impact he’s made in his community.

STA2020: When and how did you first meet Coach Hurley?

Mike: I’m from North Jersey, Hackensack area.  My hometown and Jersey City are not that far apart, geographically.  In the inner-circles of basketball in north Jersey, we obviously came across each other.  I’ve heard a great deal about him and his team, and his great success that he’s had.  A couple of times, I took the opportunity to drive and watch his teams play.  We’d meet each other, either before or after the game, and talk a little bit.  After that, we ran into each other occasionally.  At a tournament, state Finals, out-of-state tournament that he may have entered.

STA2020: When you first saw him, and you’ve heard so much about him.  What instantly stood out to you, as a coach, seeing him when he coached?

Mike: Thinking back, early on one of the first time’s that we met – either a game or a practice.  I enjoyed so much watching the discipline he had instilled in his team and how when he spoke he had everyone’s attention.  All eyes were on him…. READ MORE!