Former NY Knick Richie Guerin visits Basketball Hall of Fame – PHOTOS

richard-guerinRichie Guerin, a member of the 2013 Hall of Fame class visited the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, to talk about his memorable career in the NBA and how it feels to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Audience members participated in a question and answer segment with Guerin and an autograph signing.

The former New York Knick was widely known in his day as one of the game’s best players all-around, something he told the crowd at the Hall of Fame that you just don’t see anymore.

“Basketball was taught differently than it is today,” he said. “You have more specialists in the game today. Young people who are taught this way skills.”

The six-time NBA All-Star played with the Knicks from 1956-63, averaging 20.1 points per game during that time and becoming the first Knick to score 2,000 points in a single season. He racked up more than 4,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists in a 13-year career. Guerin appeared in 848 NBA games, and holds career averages of 17.3 ppg, 5 rpg and 5 apg in 32.4 minutes per game.

It was his time after New York, however, that was the real story. Guerin was traded to the St. Louis Hawks following the 1963 season. After playing one year, he was sidelined by injury. It was then that he became a player-coach, a rarity in basketball.

“That was a shock,” he said. “That was one of the first shocks I had ever received in my career. While I was on the injury list, the owner of the team called me into his office and said he was going to make a coaching change. He said he would like me to take over the team.”

Guerin laughed as he recalled the day to the large gathering that took in this latest installment of the Hall’s “60 Days of Summer” series.

“I looked at him like he had two heads,” he said. “I told him I was just a player and I still had some years left to play. He told me that they all thought I could do the job, so I told him I’d try it. It worked out pretty good.”

Guerin remained a player-coach for five years. He acknowledged it wasn’t an easy job and said it’s not something a player could do in today’s game.

“There’s just too much pressure to win,” he said. “Sports is a big business today, and as you can see, they have three or four full-time assistants on the bench. So it would be too hard today.”

Guerin will be inducted into the Hall in September. He was grateful to receive the call for enshrinement, something he was beginning to think might never happen.

“It feels like a miracle happened,” he said. “At this stage in my life, as you get older and you get passed over a number of times, you begin to doubt yourself, that it might never happen. Obviously when it happened, I was ecstatic. I’m happy that I’m still here on this earth and I can enjoy it with my family.”

Featured photo by Mark M.Murray
Gallery photos by Basketball Hall of Fame


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