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Former Rockets coach Johnny Egan dies at 83

The coach spent four years guiding Houston (1972-76) after spending 11 years in the NBA as a player with 5 different teams.

Johnny Egan played 11 seasons in the NBA and coached for 4 years.

Johnny Egan, a former coach of the Houston Rockets and an 11-year NBA veteran as a player, has died at 83. Per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Egan died after sustaining head injuries following a fall on May 8.

Egan was one of the original players on the Rockets when the team moved to Houston before the 1971-72 season and coached the team from 1972-76, taking the Houston edition of the franchise to its first playoff berth in 1975. That marked the Rockets’ first playoff series win as Houston defeated the New York Knicks, 2-1, in the first round.

Egan played in 712 games in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons (1961-63), New York Knicks (1963-65), Baltimore Bullets (1965-68), Los Angeles Lakers (1968-70) and San Diego/Houston Rockets (1970-72). He averaged 7.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game and was a key rotation player of the 1968-69 Lakers, who reached the Finals but lost to the Boston Celtics in Game 7.

He succeeded Tex Winter as coach of the Rockets during the 1971-72 season. Per the Chronicle, Egan was well known to Rockets fans as the first on-air broadcast partner of former longtime Rockets play-by-play announcer Bill Worrell.