CL and John "Jack" McCloskey. (3/25/13)
John William "Jack" McCloskey (born October 19, 1925) is a retired American basketball player, coach and executive. He served in World War II as a lieutenant commanding a landing ship for Marines. He played one game for the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA during the 1953 season, scoring 6 points in that game. Two decades later, he served as the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers from 1972 through 1974, earning a 48-116 win/loss record. He followed this stint as an assistant coach to Jerry West and the Los Angeles Lakers. When West became general manager, McCloskey felt he had earned the right to become head coach, but Paul Westhead was hired instead. In 1979, he became general manager of the Detroit Pistons.
During the next 13 years, "Trader Jack," as he was known, made over 30 trades, constantly upgrading his team to become a true challenger to the Boston Celtics, one of the dominant teams in the NBA's Eastern Conference. His best-known moves were drafting future Hall-Of-Famer Joe Dumars outside the lottery and rebounding champ Dennis Rodman in the second round of the NBA Draft, trading three players for future all-star center and dominant rebounder Bill Laimbeer and trading superstar Adrian Dantley for Mark Aguirre during the 1988-89 season, a move that helped the Pistons win the NBA championship in 1989 and 1990. After the Chicago Bulls swept an injury-riddled Piston team in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, "Trader Jack" made his last moves. He acquired Darrell Walker, Brad Sellers, and Orlando Woolridge, and let go of Vinnie Johnson and James Edwards to try and make the team younger. He drafted Doug Overton in the second round that year (the Pistons had traded their first-round pick away), who did not even play the following season. The Pistons struggled with their chemistry, as key subs like John Salley did not improve their performance, yet they won 48 games. They lost in five games to the New York Knicks in the first round, and McCloskey left the team. He later served in the front offices of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Toronto Raptors, the latter on an interim basis.
On March 29, 2008, McCloskey had his name honored in Detroit, with banner raised at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Now retired, he currently resides in Georgia.
His daughter is the writer Molly McCloskey, whose memoir Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother (2011) recounts the story of the McCloskey family with particular focus on Molly's brother (Jack McCloskey's son), Mike.
- ^ FBI investigated letters sent to former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly - ESPN, "Jack McCloskey, now retired and living in Georgia"
- ^ Irish Independent review of Circles Around the Sun
- ^ Irish Times review of Circles Around the Sun
- ^ Guardian review of Circles Around the Sun
Sports Media 101
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:33:45 -0700
Detroit Pistons Must Make Finding the Next Jack McCloskey a Goal in General Manager Search. April 18th, 2014 at 4:35 PM By Max DeMara. Even though a restaurant may receive acclaim for having fantastic food thanks to a superior chef, the restaurant ...
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 09:44:26 -0700
With the Pistons being arguably one of the worst teams in the league in the late 1970s, newly appointed GM Jack McCloskey attempted to make a blockbuster trade that would've changed the team and NBA forever. Michigan State had just won the national ...
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:15:00 -0700
He'll remain a part of the only pro sports organization he's ever known – 29 mostly glorious years – since stepping outside his native Louisiana for the first time in 1985 when Jack McCloskey stunned owner Bill Davidson by picking Dumars over local ...
Sports Media 101
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:15:00 -0700
General Manager Jack Mccloskey had done such an amazing job of acquiring talent that guys absolutely had to put their own individual agendas aside, and work together under the direction of Coach Chuck Daly or “Daddy Rich” as the players called him.
The Detroit News
Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:11:58 -0700
But he also had back issues, and that is why general manager Jack McCloskey pulled a switch and left Mahorn unprotected instead of Edwards. who had already been in contact with the Timberwolves. McCloskey could protect only eight of 12 players and ...
Sports On Earth
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 21:18:45 -0700
He hired Jack McCloskey and Chuck Daly to run the team, and later, Brown. Years before it became standard travel, he bought a private plane, "Roundball One," so his players would be spared the rigors of flying commercial. Everything he touched turned ...
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 18:51:03 -0700
Multiple executives and support staff were also in attendance, including then-general manager Jack McCloskey, now 88. While celebrating the anniversary of the 1989 title, players noted the absence of Chuck Daly, the coach of the Bad Boys Pistons who ...
Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:37:47 -0700
Back row from left: John Salley, Joe Dumars, James Edwards, Mark Aguirre, John Long, Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn, Fennis Dembo and Mike Abdenour. Front row from left: Isaiah Thomas, Jack McCloskey, Vinnie Johnson, Michael Williams, Brendan Malone, ...
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