Jack McCloskey (1925 - 2017)

Jack McCloskey, the former Detroit Pistons general manager who helped guide his "Bad Boys" teams to back-to-back NBA championships, died Thursday, June 1, 2017, in Savannah, Georgia, according to the team. McCloskey, who had Alzheimer's disease, was 91.

The Pistons organization announced the death on Twitter:

"We mourn the loss of legendary GM Jack McCloskey, the architect of the Bad Boys team, who passed away today: on.nba.com/2sjORNT"

McCloskey built the "Bad Boys" teams that won NBA titles in 1989 and 1990. The teams were led by coach Chuck Daly and McCloskey's draft picks Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Dennis Rodman.


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John William McCloskey was born Sept. 19, 1925, in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. A World War II veteran, he served in the U.S. Marines.

McCloskey played professional basketball himself, though only briefly. In the 1953-54 season, he scored six points in a game with the NBA's Philadelphia Warriors. He later coached college basketball before becoming head coach of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers from 1972 to 1974. After serving as an assistant coach to Jerry West and the Los Angeles Lakers, he became head coach of the Pistons in 1979.

From 1979 to 1992, McCloskey, aka Trader Jack, made nearly three dozen trades to make the Pistons better and better. His teams made nine straight playoff appearances, five consecutive trips to the Conference Finals, and three Finals appearances.

Thomas, Dumars, Rodman, and coach Daly eventually were enshrined in the NBA Hall of Fame.

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