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George Irvine (1948 - 2017)

Getty / Allsport / Jed Jacobsohn

George Irvine (1948 - 2017)

George Irvine, a former NBA player and head coach, died Monday, May 8, 2017, of cancer, according to multiple news sources. He was 69.

Irvine was born Feb. 1, 1948, in Seattle. He was a 6-foot-6 forward when he played college basketball at the University of Washington, where he was a first-team All-Pac 8 selection in 1970.


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During the 1970 NBA draft, the Seattle SuperSonics chose Irvine in the eighth round. He never played for the SuperSonics, however; nor did he play with any other team in the NBA. He chose, instead, to play for the Virginia Squires, which had selected him in the American Basketball Association draft. He was with the Squires for five seasons, playing alongside Julius Erving between 1971 and 1973. Irvine then switched to the Denver Nuggets for one final pro season, in 1975-76.

Irvine went on to serve as head coach for the NBA's Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons. He was with the Pacers off and on from 1984 to 1989. He led the Pistons to the playoffs during the 1999-2000 season, but the team lost in the first round. He coached another season with Detroit before retiring from coaching.

In 2012, he was inducted into the Pac-12 Basketball Hall of Honor.

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