Majerus remembered fondly by coaches


MILWAUKEEThe game lost one of its best basketball minds on Saturday with the death of Rick Majerus.

Majerus, 64, died of heart failure in a Los Angeles Hospital according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

He coached at four different schools over the course of a 25-year career, a career that included just one losing season.

His death will be felt by many, including Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, better known as Glen Rivers when they met.

"That's a tough one for me," said an emotional Rivers, visibly shaken by Majerus' death. "He's the one that gave me my name."

While attending a basketball camp as a youth with Majerus as one of the camp counselors, Rivers was wearing a Dr. J (Julius Erving) t-shirt.

Majerus started calling him 'Doc,' and the rest as they say, is history.

The two became even closer during Rivers' three seasons at Marquette (1980-83), where Majerus was an assistant under the legendary Al McGuire.

One of the most talkative coaches in any sport, Rivers had little to say about Majerus.

"I knew before (Saturday's 91-88 loss to Milwaukee) that he wasn't going to make it through the night," said Rivers, knowing he was fighting a losing battle to maintain his composure. "I don't want to talk about it."

His death being too fresh, too painful for the loquacious Rivers to speak about it at length without breaking down.

Bucks assistant coach Jim Boylan was the starting point guard for Marquette's 1977 NIT championship team in which Majerus was an assistant coach.

Hes done so much for basketball at Marquette and all through the state of Wisconsin," Boylan said. "For me personally, hes always been there. Hes one of those guys who, if you dont see Rick for a while and when something was going wrong and you needed help, boom, hed be there. He did so much for me over the years when I was trying to get my career going. Just extending himself and giving you whatever it is you needed, whether it was a phone call, having me come out to Salt Lake and staying with him four or five weeks at a time working. Hed basically give you the shirt off his back, if thats what you needed. He would do whatever it took. Hes going to be really missed. Great person.

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