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Coach Holtzman Laid To Rest


Red Holzman was remembered Sunday as a teacher of basketball fundamentals whose down-to-earth approach helped mold some of the game's finest teams.

Holzman died Friday night at age 78 after being diagnosed earlier this year with leukemia.

Pallbearers at the funeral included Bill Bradley, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere, Earl Monroe -- all Hall of Famers like their coach -- plus Dick Barnett, Butch Beard and Dean Meminger. All except Beard played for Holzman's New York Knicks NBA championship teams in 1970 and 1973.

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Patrick Ewing, captain of the current Knicks and president of the NBA players' union, also served as a pallbearer.

Dave Checketts, president of Madison Square Garden, recalled Holzman's championship teams, which were a model for selfless basketball.

"The character of Red's team was a great pass was greater than a great shot," he said. "He set the tone for excellence for the Knicks. He was the Knicks' greatest asset."

Checketts also recalled when Holzman served as a consultant to the team after he left coaching. Checketts was having a problem with a player and turned to Holzman for advice.

"He said to me, `Tolerance, Dave, tolerance. The guy might be a (jerk) but he's our (jerk).'"

Holzman's Knicks teams won 613 games in 14 seasons. He also coached the Hawks, first in Milwaukee, then in St. Louis, and his 696 victories in 18 years as a coach place him 11th among all-time NBA coaches.

Also among the mourners were Dick McGuire, the man Holzman succeeded as coach of the Knicks in 1967, and longtime Knicks trainer Danny Whelan.

Three original Knicks -- Sonny Hertzberg, who played with Holzman at City College of New York, and Ralph Kaplowitz and Frank Mangiapane, who both played against Holzman when they were at New York University -- also served as pallbearers.

© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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