There is a Lenny Wilkens appearance in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. This is because Wilkens was a nine-time NBA All-Star and also holds the record for most coaching wins in NBA history. That’s a pretty impressive combination, to say the least.
Wilkens started on his path to NBA success in the playgrounds of Brooklyn. There, the son of an African American father and Irish-Catholic mother, learned all the fundamentals of basketball he would later take onto Providence College. At Providence, Wilkens led the team to their first NIT appearance in 1959, and then he took them to the NIT Finals in 1960. By the time he graduated, he was the then-second-ranked scorer in Friar basketball history.
Wilkens’s basketball playing career took him from the St. Louis Hawks, to the Seattle SuperSonics, to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and then back to the Pacific Northwest to play for the Portland Trail Blazers. During his time with the Blazers, Wilkens served as a player coach, starting him on his path to coaching success. That path would lead him through Seattle, Cleveland, Atlanta, Toronto, and New York. It would also lead him to an NBA Championship in 1979 with Seattle.
**Lenny Wilkens Speaker**
While many people might want to hear about all of Wilkens’s record number of wins, another interesting Lenny Wilkens speaker topics might be his record number of losses – also the most in NBA history. As the favorite coaching saying goes, you can learn a lot from a loss, and Wilkens sure had his share.
**Lenny Wilkens Appearance**
There was a brief Lenny Wilkens appearance as president of basketball operations for the Seattle SuperSonics, but it only lasted slightly longer than three months.
**Lenny Wilkens Endorsement**
An interesting Lenny Wilkens endorsement actually appears in Barack Obama’s first YouTube “radio” address as President-elect. In the background of the video is a basketball signed by Wilkens.
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