‘The Czar’ gets his due: Mike Fratello receives 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award

The longtime coach-turned-broadcaster led the Hawks, Cavs and Grizzlies to a combined 667-548 record, with 11 playoff appearances in 16 seasons.

Mike Fratello has been involved in the NBA in some capacity — coach, assistant coach, or broadcaster — since the late 1970s.

SAN FRANCISCO — Mike Fratello, young Atlanta Hawks assistant coach, was 35 years old and stood 5-foot-7 inches (same as now) when he got the chance to interview for the Chicago Bulls’ top job for the 1982-83 season.

The process went well enough and Fratello already was home when he got the call that the Bulls had decided to hire Paul Westhead. The snag? One of Chicago’s co-owners had decided that Fratello was too short to command the respect of NBA players.

Recalling that slight Sunday, Fratello, now 75, said, “You earn respect.”

Click here for the rest of the story by Steve Aschburner for NBA.com.

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Czar’s Season Update

WEB-Czar's Update-East-Conf-6MAR2014

Gameday Dish

Detroit Pistons v Brooklyn NetsThe 8-14 Brooklyn Nets come to the Motor City tonight riding a three-game win streak and playing their best basketball of the season so far.

On the home bench, the 10-13 Detroit Pistons have dropped their last three contests, including a tough overtime L on Wednesday in The Big Easy. Detroit’s team defense let them down in these losses, allowing the opposition to average 114 ppg and to shoot 49.4 % from the field and 41.3 % from the arc.

Both squads entered this 2013-2014 campaign with high hopes of renewed success. The Pistons hired new head coach Maurice Cheeks, brought in athletic F Josh Smith and Mr. Big Shot Chauncey Billups, and traded for the dynamic youngster G Brandon Jennings.

These fresh Pistons added to the fearsome youthful twosome of C Andre Drummond and PF Greg Monroe had Motowners’ minds thinking playoffs for the first time since 2009.

The much talked about Brooklyn team has seemingly endured a season’s worth of scrutiny before Christmas. With the highest payroll in the NBA and the additions of KG, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and first-year head coach Jason Kidd in the off-season, expectations in the borough and beyond were sky high.

Copyright 2013 NBAE - Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty ImagesWith All-Star PG Deron Williams missing 11 of their 22 games and All-Star C Brook Lopez out for 7, the Nets have spent the first fourth of the season behind the proverbial 8-ball.

Throw in the fact that both the 16th-year Pierce and 19th-year Garnett seem at least a step slower this season, and you have professional prognosticators predicting their early demise.

Tonight’s 48 represents the second of four meetings between these two sides this season. The Pistons bested the Nets in Brooklyn 109-97 on November 24th.

The Nets competed without Lopez and Williams in the loss and were led by SG Joe Johnson’s season-high 34 points, including 8 for 10 from beyond the arc. Detroit was led by 7th-year combo guard Rodney Stuckey’s 27 points off the bench.

Tune in to YES Network at 7:30 PM ET to see if Brooklyn will continue their solid play and extend their winning streak to four games, or if Detroit will turn their luck around on Friday the 13th.