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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. He served as head coach of the University of Pennsylvania from 1956 to 1966, and of Wake Forest from 1966 to 1972. Following that, 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 Jack McKinney 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 to 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 (1992-1995), and the Toronto Raptors (2004), 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.[1]

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.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ FBI investigated letters sent to former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly - ESPN, "Jack McCloskey, now retired and living in Georgia"
  2. ^ Irish Independent review of Circles Around the Sun
  3. ^ Irish Times review of Circles Around the Sun
  4. ^ Guardian review of Circles Around the Sun

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_McCloskey — Please support Wikipedia.
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277 news items

Delco News Network

Delco News Network
Tue, 29 Mar 2016 19:15:00 -0700

Other may say that Chuck Daly, Jim Lynam, Dick Harter, Paul Westhead, Jack McCloskey, Al Severance and Jack Kraft are the best. Let's not forget about Sam Cozen, the winningest coach in Drexel history, or Chester's Bo Ryan or Lansdowne's Glenn ...


Tue, 05 Apr 2016 03:11:21 -0700

Former Pistons owner Davidson and former coach Chuck Daly also are in the Hall of Fame -- but general manager Jack McCloskey, architect of the Bad Boys, is not. It seems an oversight. -- Download the Detroit Pistons on MLive app for iPhone and Android


Tue, 12 May 2015 06:18:23 -0700

Jack McCloskey to this day is convinced there was an anti-Pistons sentiment that emanated from basketball circles of power, both official and unofficial. He told me once about attending the NBA league meetings in the aftermath of the '89 Finals. In the ...
Detroit Sports Nation
Thu, 31 Mar 2016 09:17:33 -0700

Now closing in on 30 years since former Pistons general manager Jack McCloskey's controversial decision to send Dantley to Dallas in exchange for Mark Aguirre in 1989—a deal that'd ultimately end in the Pistons' first NBA championship—Dantley's still ...

Reading Eagle

Reading Eagle
Mon, 21 Dec 2015 21:07:34 -0800

Basketball became drudgery for Marquis Marshall sometime during his year and a half at East Stroudsburg University. He saw limited action for the Warriors and became disenchanted. After talking with his mother and father over Thanksgiving break, ...


Thu, 10 Mar 2016 05:16:34 -0800

Jack McCloskey's voice trails off as he begins to recall the 1965-66 University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team. “Oh, boy…” said the former Penn head coach. McCloskey is 90 years old and doesn't remember every detail of the historic season that ...


Tue, 04 Mar 2008 00:00:00 -0800

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Jack McCloskey, General Manager of the Detroit Pistons from 1979 to 1992, and the architect of the Bad Boys' two World Championship teams in 1989 and 1990, will be honored in a retirement ceremony at halftime on March 29 ...


Tue, 05 May 2015 07:01:42 -0700

I'm generally not big into conspiracy theories, but Jack McCloskey to this day is convinced there was an anti-Pistons sentiment that emanated from basketball circles of power, both official and unofficial. He told me once about attending the NBA league ...

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