Ex-NBA 3-point champion hired as coach by Canadian basketball team

craig-hodgesThe Halifax Rainmen (professional Canadian basketball team) have hired former NBA star Craig Hodges as coach, Halifax’s the Coast reported.

Hodges replaces Chris Terrell, who was unceremoniously fired last week, after the Rainmen opened the season with six straight losses. Terrell was the seventh Rainmen coach in as many seasons.

Hodges played in the NBA from 1983 through 1992, most notably alongside Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls from 1988 through 1992, as the team won championship rings in ’91 and ’92. Three times through his pro career, Hodges led the league in three-point shot percentages.

In his last season with the Bulls, Hodges became a high-profile political activist, joining with the Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan and showing up at a Bulls’ meeting in the White House with president George H.W. Bush wearing a dashiki, the traditional garb of West Africans.

After his pro career, Hodges worked as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers under head coach Phil Jackson, who Hodges calls a mentor.

Over the past three years Hodges has been running a series of camps and writing a book about his career.

Rainmen owner Andre Levingston announced Hodges’ hiring Wednesday at a press conference in Scotia Square. Hodges expressed optimism for the Rainmen.

“I’m looking forward to jamming with the brothers and seeing what’s going on,” he said.

“Winning doesn’t just happen,” said Hodges. “Top to bottom, from management to the twelfth person on the team, we have to be on the same team.

Levingston noted that Hodges’s hiring was so abrupt that Hodges had no time to consult with his family. “He’s hired as interim coach,” said Levingston.

Asked if he was worried about the high turnover of Rainmen coaches, Hodges said he’s “not worried about the future. I’m worried about right now.”

Hodges spent 12 seasons in the NBA, appearing in 695 games (256 started). He holds career averages of 8.5 ppg and 2.5 apg in 21.7 mpg.


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