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Mike Fratello

On Dec. 4, 2019, former NBA head coach Mike Fratello was announced by USA Basketball as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team that competed in the February 2020 FIBA AmeriCup qualifying games. Under Fratello the USA recorded a pair of impressive victories over Puetro Rico, winning 83-70 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and 95-73 in Washington, D.C. In winning the two games, Fratello's USA squad averaged 89.0 points a game, accumulated an average margin of victory of +17.5 points a game, while defensively limiting Puerto Rico to 40.8 percent shooting from the field, 25.0 percent shooting from 3-point, and outrebounding Puerto Rico by 5.0 rebounds a game.

 

“This is one of the ultimate things you could ever ask for – being able to try and put a team together that represents your country, what could be better than that?” said Fratello. “I’ve coached at every level really – high school, college, NBA, and then international, and now it’s international for your own country which is as good as it gets. It’s a great honor and I’m thrilled to have it.”

 

Fratello, who currently is an analyst for NBA TV and for nationally televised games on TNT, served as  an NBA head coach during 17 seasons, including coaching stints with the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies.

 

Boasting of an NBA career regular season record of 667-548 for a .549 winning percentage, he led teams to the NBA playoffs in 11 of his 15 full seasons as a head coach. He ranks 20th in all-time NBA regular season wins (667) and 21st in games coached (1,215).

 

Fratello’s first NBA head coaching assignment came during the final three games of the 1980-81 season, after he was named interim head coach of the Atlanta Hawks.  

 

Two years later, after serving two seasons as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks, Fratello returned to Atlanta as the head coach. In seven seasons, (1983-84 through 1989-90) he compiled a 324–250 record (.564 winning percentage), made the NBA playoffs five times and won the Central Division title in 1987 with 57 wins. 

 

Fratello earned NBA Coach of the Year honors in 1985–86 after leading Atlanta to a 50-32 record and the conference semifinals. 

 

He coached the Cleveland Cavaliers for six seasons (1993-94 through 1998-99) and compiled an overall regular season record of 248-212 (.539 winning percentage). He directed the Cavaliers to the NBA playoffs four times.

 

Fratello was head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies from December 2004 to December 2006 and led teams to two NBA playoffs and a 95-83 (.534 winning percentage) regular season record.

 

He also served as the Ukraine national team head coach from 2011-14 and led Ukraine to their first-ever FIBA World Cup appearance. Fratello coached Ukraine in the 2011 FIBA European Championship, the 2012 EuroBasket Qualification Tournament and successfully clinched Ukraine a spot in the 2013 EuroBasket in Slovenia. He made history when he led Ukraine to a 6-5 record and sixth place finish in the 2013 FIBA European Championship to qualify Ukraine for the 2014 FIBA World Cup for the first time. Recording wins over Dominican Republic and Turkey, Ukraine finished the World Cup with a 2-3 record and in 18th place. Fratello’s Ukraine team closed preliminary-round play facing the USA and suffered a 95-71 setback.

 

During Fratello's time as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, Hawks owner Ted Turner organized for Atlanta to undertake a 13-day tour of Russia for three games against the Soviet Union national team. Held in July 1988, and used by the Soviets as preparation for their golden run at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the Hawks narrowly won the first two games (85–84 on July 25, 110–105 in overtime on July 27), and lost 132–123 in the final game (July 30) in Moscow. The Hawks became the first NBA team to play a game in the USSR, and this tour is generall acknowledged as a starting point for the globalization of NBA basketball.

 

Fratello's coaching resume also includes stints as an assistant basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island, James Madison University and Villanova University.

 

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