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Lenny Wilkens

Agrees To Coach Toronto Raptors

Wilkens didn't stay idle for long. Less than two months after quitting as head coach of the Hawks, he joined the Toronto Raptors as head coach. Interviewed by the Toronto Star shortly after the announcement of his appointment, Wilkens said he welcomed the opportunity to coach a team on the rise. "I like the competition of the games; I like the last two minutes of the game when you're up one or you're down one. I'm a competitor; I like to compete." He dismissed concerns about his final season with Atlanta, calling it an "aberration." He elaborated: "It's over, it's behind me, and it's time to move on. I'm a guy who wakes up and says 'Good morning, God.' Not 'Good God, it's morning.'"

Lenny Wilkens

In their first season under Wilkens' direction, the Raptors compiled a record of 47-35, the best in franchise history. In the first round of the playoffs, Toronto faced off against the New York Knicks in a rematch from the previous year, when the Knicks overpowered the Raptors. This time around, the results were different, with the Raptors triumphing over New York in five games. Advancing to the conference semifinals, Toronto met the Philadelphia 76ers, led by Allen Iverson, the league's MVP. Raptors star Vince Carter and Iverson engaged in a classic scoring duel with each recording games of fifty points or more, but in the end Philadelphia triumphed in its seventh games against Toronto.

Awards and Accomplishments

1956-57 Led Providence College freshman team to 23-0 record
1960 Led Providence to NIT Finals
1960 Named MVP of NIT
1963-71 Named NBA All-Star
1969-70 Led NBA in assists
1973 Named NBA All-Star
1978-79 Coached Super Sonics to world championship
1989 Inducted into Naismith Hall of Fame as player
1994 Named NBA Coach of the Year
1995 Becomes NBA's winningest coach with 939th victory on January 6
1996 Coaches USA Dream Team to Olympic gold
1996 Named one of top 50 players and top 10 coaches in NBA history
1998 Inducted into Naismith Hall of Fame as coach

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Famous Sports StarsBasketballLenny Wilkens Biography - Born In Brooklyn, Player-coach, Signs On As Head Coach Of Cavaliers, Honored As One Of Nba's Top Players And Coaches - CONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY WILKENS: