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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. 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.[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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139 news items

The Daily Pennsylvanian
Mon, 02 Dec 2013 22:05:36 -0800

Jack McCloskey coached Penn basketball during the dawn of the Big 5, from 1956 to 1966. In his 10 seasons coaching the Quakers, McCloskey went 146-105 overall and 87-53 in Ivy League play. McCloskey later coached the Portland Trail Blazers from ...

Bleeding Yankee Blue (blog)

Bleeding Yankee Blue (blog)
Mon, 03 Nov 2014 11:40:20 -0800

Longtime team owner and general manager Jack McCloskey have banners without numbers on them. Chuck Daly, who coached the Pistons to their 1st 2 titles, has the Number 2 retired for him. From his 1989 and 1990 World Championship teams, a.k.a. the ...

ABC News

Sports Media 101
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:37:07 -0700

Jack McCloskey. McCloskey, as it was explained, became Detroit's general manager during a time of organizational drift. The Pistons didn't have an identity. McCloskey didn't have experience building a team, and the franchise was going out on a major ...
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 ...
Alvernia University Athletics
Tue, 10 Apr 2012 12:48:42 -0700

Reading, Pa. (Apr. 10, 2012) - Jack McCloskey, the head men's basketball coach at Alvernia University from 1991-2004, passed away Monday afternoon in Bonita Springs, Florida, after a five-year battle with cancer. McCloskey is still the Alvernia career ...
Lakers Nation
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 ...
Detroit Free Press
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 17:39:38 -0700

But as long as we look up in the rafters and see five members of the Bad Boys with their numbers retired (seven if you count Chuck Daly and Jack McCloskey), doesn't it figure that there should be at least one from the 2004 title team? Retired numbers ...
Bless You Boys (blog)
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 06:03:03 -0700

For my money, Pistons GM Jack McCloskey's trading of Adrian Dantley for Mark Aguirre late in the 1988-89 season is still the boldest move in Detroit. But Moss-for-Sparky is right up there, mainly because it was so out of character for the franchise ...

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