In two years,
Larry Drew has guided the Atlanta Hawks to consecutive playoff
appearances and last season managed his team through an abbreviated NBA
campaign to finish with a 40-26 (.606) record and fourth-place finish in
the Eastern Conference. Picked by some to miss the playoffs entirely,
the franchise reached the postseason for the fifth straight year,
overcoming significant injuries to key players at various times over the
season and winning at a 61% clip.
With only two of their core players seeing action in all 66 games, Drew
had to juggle the lineup throughout the season following the absence of
all-NBA center Al Horford (who missed 55 games after a left pectoral
tear), the season-opening loss of tough-minded guard Kirk Hinrich (who
missed the season's first 18 games after summer shoulder surgery), and
the midseason departure of all-star guard Joe Johnson (knee tendinitis,
six games) to reach the postseason for the fifth straight year. Despite
those setbacks and adopting a 'no excuses' mantra, the Hawks bought into
Drew's principles and still fought their way to four-of-five winning
months and a 9-3 record in April.
The 11th full-time head coach in Hawks history, Drew has an 84-64 (.568)
overall regular season record (8-10 in postseason). As a rookie head
coach in 2010-11, Drew led the Hawks past Orlando in the first round of
the 2011 Playoffs and fell two games shy of reaching the Eastern
Conference Finals in a series defeat against Chicago. His six wins were
the most-ever by a rookie Atlanta coach in his first playoff appearance.
Drew has playing experience, having played with championship-caliber
players like Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Byron Scott. He has also
coached under individuals like Scott, Alvin Gentry and Doug Collins, and
following 27 seasons as a player and coach, the work invested in those
positions set the stage for Drew to obtain the job he had desired for
some time, and after 18 years as an assistant, he was ready for the
challenge when he was named to the top spot on June 12, 2010.
After working seven years in Atlanta prior to the ascension to the top
spot, Drew was very familiar with the personalities of his players - as
well as their strengths and weaknesses - and he used that knowledge
effectively and efficiently as he has kept the Hawks amongst the top
teams in the NBA.
Before arriving in Atlanta as the top assistant to then-head coach Mike
Woodson in August 2004, Drew was an assistant with the New Jersey Nets
and Scott after spending the previous three seasons with the Washington
Wizards in a similar capacity (2000-03) under Collins. Prior to that, he
re-joined one of the teams he previously played for, the Detroit
Pistons, as an assistant coach in 1999-2000. Drew returned to Detroit as
an assistant under Alvin Gentry, for the first time since playing with
the team as a NBA rookie with the Pistons in 1980-81. His coaching
career began in 1992-93 when he broke into the ranks with another of his
former teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, whom he played for from 1989-91.
An 11-year professional, Drew averaged 11.4 points and 5.2 assists in
714 career games for four NBA teams. After one season in Detroit, he
played the next five years with the Kings, in Kansas City and Sacramento
(1981-86), and his final four in Los Angeles (1986-91), for the Clippers
and the Lakers. In addition, Drew spent one season internationally as a
member of Scavolini of the Italian League in 1988-89.
He was a first round pick in the 1980 NBA Draft - 17th overall selection
by the Pistons - and he reached postseason play four times in his pro
career (31 games). Drew recorded his best season during the 1982-83
campaign, when he averaged 20.1 points, 8.1 assists and 1.7 steals for
Born April 2, 1958 in Kansas City, Kansas, Drew played four seasons at
the University of Missouri, where he averaged 12.0 points and 2.8
rebounds and prepped at Wyandotte High in Kansas City. During the
summer, Drew runs the Larry Drew Advanced Guard Academy in Los Angeles,
and holds camps around the country.
Drew and his wife Sharon have three children, Larry, Landon and Lindsey.
While Larry II is a senior point guard at UCLA, Landon is in his
freshman season at Cal State Northridge, and youngest son Lindsey plays
for Fairfax High School in Los Angeles.