Havin' a Ball

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Havin' a Ball

My Improbable Basketball Journey

Richie Adubato with Peter Kerasotis
Foreword by Dick Vitale

216 pages
35 photographs, 1 appendix

Hardcover

October 2020

978-1-4962-1282-5

$26.95 Pre-order
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

October 2020

978-1-4962-2343-2

$26.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In Havin’ a Ball one of basketball’s most colorful characters and storytellers chronicles his life in the game, from high school coach in New Jersey to head coach in both the NBA and the WNBA. Richie Adubato isn’t a Hall of Fame name, but he’s one of basketball’s most beloved coaches, with a lifetime of stories that are humorous and heartfelt, poignant and personal.

Adubato’s career has crossed paths with many of basketball’s most memorable people and events. Starting in the 1960s, he was part of the Jersey Guys, a group of young junior high and high school coaches—including Hubie Brown, Dick Vitale, and Mike Fratello—who all later went on to coach in the NBA. He was hired as Vitale’s assistant coach with the Pistons in 1979. Then, three years later, he was hired by Hubie Brown as the Knicks’ assistant coach. He would stay in pro basketball for the next twenty-five years, with stints as head coach for the Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic and the WNBA’s New York Liberty and Washington Mystics. In fact, he is the first coach to have led teams in both leagues to the playoffs.

Adubato grew up as an Irish Italian Jersey kid with modest aspirations who went on to experience a fascinating ride in pro basketball. He tells readers how a young Magic team led by Shaquille O’Neal came undone, about his years coaching the Mavericks at a time when the NBA was never more popular, what it was like to coach in the WNBA when the Liberty were outdrawing the Knicks in attendance, and what it was like to coach with, and against, other Hall of Famers.

Havin’ a Ball takes readers into locker rooms, planes, practices, games, and off court to the inner world of pro basketball with an insider’s unique perspective.
 

Author Bio

Richie Adubato has spent six decades in basketball, coaching high school, college, NBA, WNBA, and internationally. In the NBA, he was the head coach of the Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, and Orlando Magic and an assistant coach with the Pistons, Mavericks, Magic, Knicks, and Cavaliers. He also served as a consultant with the Boston Celtics. Currently a color analyst for the Magic, Adubato lives in Lake Mary, Florida, with his wife, Carol. Peter Kerasotis is an author and journalist who has won numerous awards, including ten Associated Press Sports Editor Awards. He is the coauthor of Alou: My Baseball Journey (Nebraska, 2018).
 

Praise

“Richie Adubato has a gift for teaching basketball and developing talent, which explains why he became such an outstanding coach at every level. . . . And then there is his gift of storytelling, where Richie takes a backseat to no one. . . . He has quite a story to tell, and he has done just that in this gem of a book.”—Hubie Brown, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer
 

“Without Coach Richie Adubato, my career would have turned out much differently. I was an undrafted free agent, but not only did Richie appreciate my play, he gave me an opportunity and taught me countless ways to see and play the game of basketball. The added bonus was Richie’s rich and vivid stories, which now make for an incredible read. You are sure to smile, shake your head, scratch your head, laugh out loud, and maybe even shed a tear. Richie is special, and so is his book.”—Becky Hammon, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach
 

“During my time in New York, I had the pleasure of encountering a wonderful assistant coach by the name of Richie Adubato. He helped me tremendously on the professional level, teaching me the intricacies of the game. His tutelage continued to benefit me after my NBA career was over.”—Patrick Ewing, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer
 

“My first exposure to Richie Adubato came during his tenure as head coach of the New York Liberty. What immediately struck me was the level of preparation he put into his craft and how passionate he was about making sure his players were as prepared as possible for every opponent.”—Doris Burke, NBA analyst and reporter
 

“Richie Adubato is without a doubt one of the best coaches I ever played for. He is a championship coach and, more important, a championship person. . . . Richie’s love for basketball, for people, and for a great story resonate in his autobiography. He has seen it all, lived it all, and now he tells it all with great passion.”—Bernard King, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer
 

“Two pages in and you fully understand where basketball fit into Richie Adubato’s life. Yet as you move through the pages, you realize it’s more than basketball. It’s a guy who starts from ground zero in coaching and reaches the pinnacle of becoming an NBA head coach, all while maintaining a strong connection to the students he taught.”—George King, sportswriter for the New York Post
 

“Whether coaching men or women at the high school, college, or pro level, Richie always found a way to succeed, thanks to incredible teaching and coaching skills combined with a passion for the game. Richie is a basketball lifer, and it is a life rich with the kind of inside stories that will keep you turning pages.”—Mike Fratello, broadcaster and former NBA head coach
 

“Nobody loves basketball, and life, more than Richie Adubato. And nobody knows more about the game. You’ll laugh like you’ve never laughed before.”—Bob Lanier, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
 

“No one has enjoyed being in or around the game basketball more than Richie Adubato. He has coached and developed great players and people at all levels—from high school to college to the NBA to the WNBA. As a player, coach, and broadcaster, Richie has always had a true passion and devotion to the game and is one of its great personalities.”—Rick Sund, longtime NBA general manager
 
 
 

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dick Vitale
1. The Jersey Guys
2. Back in College
3. Closing in on the Big Time
4. Motormouth City
5. Unfortunately, You Can Go Home Again
6. From the Garden State to Madison Square Garden
7. From the Big Apple to Big D
8. Back in the Saddle Again
9. Orlando by Way of Cleveland
10. Shaq, We Hardly Knew You
11. My Last Go as an NBA Head Coach
12. Ricky and Me
13. I Always Considered Myself a Ladies’ Man
14. Finishing in a Blaze . . . but Not of Glory
15. Into the Mystic
16. A Basketball-Shaped World
17. The Sound and the Funny
18. Havin' a Ball
Appendix: Coaching Timeline

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