INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Larry Staverman, who was the first coach of the Indiana Pacers when they started as an ABA franchise, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 70.
The Pacers hired Staverman in 1967 before their inaugural season after he had played in the NBA for five seasons and then was an assistant coach at Notre Dame for two years. The Pacers finished 38-40 in their first season, but Staverman was fired and replaced by Bobby ``Slick'' Leonard after a 2-7 start the following year.
``By being our first coach, he was a believer in the franchise at a time when there were many doubters,'' Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said in a statement. ``That is something we recognize and hope our fans recognize. Our condolences go to his family and friends.''
He played in the NBA beginning in 1958 with the Cincinnati Royals, Chicago Zephrys/Baltimore Bullets and Detroit Pistons, averaging 4.7 points and 3.8 rebounds. He also coached the New York Knicks during the 1977-78 season, posting an 18-27 record.
Survivors include his wife, Joyce; two sons; four daughters and 13 grandchildren.

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Celtics improving Finals odds The Boston Celtics are showing signs that they want to be in the hunt to win the NBA Finals next season. Do oddsmakers feel the Celtics are...
Thumbnail Warriors re-sign Curry, Iguodala The Golden State Warriors are committed to keeping their championship team together. The team re-signed a number of players last week to improve their odds to...
Thumbnail Paul George joins the Thunder The Oklahoma City Thunderwon the Paul Georgesweepstakes last week. How has this impacted the team’s ability to win the NBA...
Thumbnail Rockets improve Finals odds After making a big splash this week, are the Houston Rockets making a push to win the 2018 NBA Finals?
Thumbnail Updated NBA Finals Odds After a busy week with the NBA Draft taking place, which team improved their odds to win the 2018 NBA Finals?

NBA Team Pages