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Del Harris: Wikis


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Delmer (Del) William Harris (born June 18, 1937 in Plainfield, Indiana) is an assistant coach for the New Jersey Nets. He has served as an assistant coach for the NBA's Chicago Bulls. He also served as an NBA head coach for the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Lakers.


United States

Harris is a graduate of Milligan College in northeast Tennessee, where his basketball career landed him in the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. Early in his career Harris was coach at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana before entering professional ranks in 1975 as an assistant coach for the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association, under head coach Tom Nissalke. When that franchise folded, Nissalke and Harris were hired as head and assistant coach, respectively for the NBA's Houston Rockets. When Nissalke was let go by the club, Harris was asked to take over head coaching duties. Harris led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in the 1981 season, where they were defeated by the Boston Celtics four games to two. Don Nelson brought Harris to Milwaukee as his assistant for the Milwaukee Bucks team, where he later became head coach and, later, also General Manager.

After his stint with the Bucks, Harris became head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, winning NBA Coach of the Year honors in '94-'95. The Lakers fired Harris after leading them to a 6–6 start at the beginning of the lockout-shortened 1998–1999 season.

A few seasons later found Harris as assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks, once again under head coach Don Nelson, and formerly under head coach Avery Johnson, he stepped aside from coaching after the 2006 season, but stayed on with the Mavs as consultant. A native of Plainfield, Indiana, he is the father of former Bucks general manager Larry Harris.

On July 3, 2008, the Chicago Tribune reported that Harris agreed to become an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls along with former Charlotte Bobcats head coach Bernie Bickerstaff and longtime NBA assistant Bob Ociepka. Along with Bickerstaff and Ociepka, Harris is expected to help establish a veteran presence on the coaching staff and help rookie head coach Vinny Del Negro.[1]

In June 2009, it was reported that Harris would step down as assistant coach to the Bulls, and retire after a career spanning 50 years. [1]

On November 30, 2009, it was announced that Harris would be the top assistant coach of the New Jersey Nets.


Harris coached seven seasons in Puerto Rico’s National Superior League (1969-75), posting a 176-61 record and winning three national championships (1973-75).

He was an assistant coach under Rudy Tomjanovich with the US national team in the 1998 FIBA World Championship, winning the bronze medal.[2]

Harris also served as coach of the Chinese national men's team, where he coached NBA All-Star center Yao Ming and led China to a surprising upset victory over Serbia and Montenegro in the 2004 Athens Olympic basketball tournament.

Prior to becoming the Lakers' head coach Harris was also a special consultant of Canadian national men's basketball team and their then head coach Ken Shields.

Coaching record

Regular season   G Games coached   W Games won   L Games lost
Post season  PG  Games coached  PW  Games won  PL  Games lost
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL Result
Houston 1979–80 82 41 41 .500 2nd in Central 7 2 5 Lost in Conference Semifinals
Houston 1980–81 82 40 42 .561 2nd in Midwest 21 12 9 Lost in NBA Finals
Houston 1981–82 82 46 36 .561 2nd in Midwest 3 1 2 Lost in First Round
Houston 1982–83 82 14 68 .171 6th in Midwest Missed Playoffs
Milwaukee 1987–88 82 42 40 .512 4th in Central 5 2 3 Lost in First Round
Milwaukee 1988–89 82 49 33 .598 4th in Central 9 3 6 Lost in Conference Semifinals
Milwaukee 1989–90 82 44 38 .537 3rd in Central 4 1 3 Lost in First Round
Milwaukee 1990–91 82 48 34 .585 3rd in Central 3 0 3 Lost in First Round
Milwaukee 1991–92 17 8 9 .471 (resigned)
L.A. Lakers 1994–95 82 48 34 .585 3rd in Pacific 10 5 5 Lost in Conference Semifinals
L.A. Lakers 1995–96 82 53 29 .646 2nd in Pacific 4 1 3 Lost in First Round
L.A. Lakers 1996–97 82 56 26 .683 2nd in Pacific 9 4 5 Lost in Conference Semifinals
L.A. Lakers 1997–98 82 61 21 .744 1st in Pacific 13 7 6 Lost in Conference Finals
L.A. Lakers 1998–99 12 6 6 .500 (fired)
Career 1013 556 457 .549 88 38 50


External links

Preceded by
Tom Nissalke
Houston Rockets head coach
Succeeded by
Bill Fitch
Preceded by
Don Nelson
Milwaukee Bucks head coach
Succeeded by
Frank Hamblen
Preceded by
Magic Johnson
Los Angeles Lakers head coach
Succeeded by
Kurt Rambis

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