LAS VEGAS – Ron Rothstein, who spent 26 seasons on NBA benches and served as an assistant coach for five different franchises, was named the recipient of the 2017 Tex Winter Assistant Coach Lifetime Impact Award Tuesday.
The award, presented by the National Basketball Coaches Association, was accepted in Rothstein’s absence by Miami Heat executive Andy Elisburg at halftime of a Las Vegas Summer League game at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Rothstein, 74, logged time on the coaching staffs in Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland, Indiana and Miami. He is most associated with the Heat, having served as that franchise’s inaugural head coach for Miami’s first four seasons, then returning as an assistant for 10 years from 2004-2014. He helped the Heat wins NBA championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013.
“Over several decades, Ronnie has helped countless players and coaches become their very best while continually helping promote the NBA game,” said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, the NBCA president.
“I had the privilege to work with Coach Rothstein during the 2003-04 season. As an assistant for me in Indiana that year, Ron was a high impact contributor to our Pacers team that set a franchise record with 61 wins. More recently, Ronnie was top assistant to Erik Spoelstra during Miami's run of back to back Championships in 2012 and 2013.”
Rothstein, in a statement, said: “Over the course of my 22 years as an assistant coach, I have been fortunate enough to work for seven outstanding head coaches.”
The bosses to whom he served as lieutenant were, in order, Hubie Brown and Mike Fratello with the Hawks, Chuck Daly with the Pistons, Carlisle with the Pacers, and Stan Van Gundy, Pat Riley and Spoelstra with the Heat.
In addition to thanking many of those who touched his career, Rothstein added: “To all the players I have had the good fortune to work with, thank you for all that you have done to contribute to my success. Obviously, none of this was possible without your dedication, hard work, talent, and professionalism.”
The Tex Winter award was first presented in 2016 to Phil Johnson, longtime Jerry Sloan assistant coach in Utah and Chicago
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