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Scotty Robertson, first coach of New Orleans Jazz, dies

Aug 19, 2011, 1:07 PM EDT

Former-Jazz-coach-Scotty-Robertson-dies-PRAAQHK-x-large AP

Scotty Robertson, who coached nearly 300 NBA games and was an assistant for many more, has died at the age of 81 at his home in Louisiana. He lost a battle with cancer, reports the Detroit News.

Robertson coached the first 15 games the expansion New Orleans Jazz ever played in 1974. They went 1-14 and he was fired.

Robertson, who had a lot of success as the head man at Louisiana Tech, went on to coach 26 games for the Chicago Bulls for the 1978-79 season season and then three full seasons with the Detroit Pistons (1980-83). He went on to be an assistant coach with the Spurs and Suns.

He left a legacy, from the high school ranks on up to the NBA, as a teacher and as a friend.

“In professional sports, few coaches really relate to players as persons,” (Charles) Barkley said. “That’s just the way it is most of the time. But Scotty, he was always wanting to relate to a player and not just as a coach per se, or as one who strictly wanted to discuss basketball. He was concerned about you personally. I admired and respected him so much and loved playing for the Suns when he was there.”

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