Lenny Wilkens, a retired player and coach in the NBA, was born on this day in 1937 in Brooklyn, NY. Wilkens was drafted sixth overall by the St. Louis Hawks in 1960. He played for the Hawks (1960–1968), the Sonics (1968–1972), the Cavs (1972–1974), and ended his career with the Blazers (1974–1975).
Wilkens was a nine-time NBA All-Star, and was named the 1971 NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1971. He led the league in assists in the 1969–70 season, and at the time of his retirement, Wilkens was the NBA’s second all-time leading playmaker, behind only Oscar Robertson. He has been inducted three times into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, first in 1989 as a player, as a coach in 1998, and as part of the US Olympic “The Dream Team,” for whom he was an Assistant Coach.
9× NBA All-Star
All-Star Game MVP (1971)
NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
No. 19 Retired by the Sonics
NBA Champion (1979)
NBA Coach of the Year (1994)
Named one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History
Gold medal winner at the Olympic Games (1996)