Robertson, first coach of NBA’s Jazz, dead at 81

RUSTON, La. — Scotty Robertson, a former Louisiana Tech coach and the first coach of the NBA’s New Orleans Jazz, has died.

Louisiana Tech athletic director Bruce Van De Velde, who confirmed Robertson’s death on Thursday, says the longtime college and pro coach will be remembered as “one of the all-time greats at Louisiana Tech.”

Robertson, who had battled cancer in addition to a stroke last year, was 81.

During his years in the NBA, Robertson also served as head coach with the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons.

He coached 10 seasons at Louisiana Tech, compiling a mark of 165-86, and was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. Later in his career, he was an assistant with Phoenix and a scout with Miami.

“He was great for us, Kelly (Tripucka) and I in particular,” said former Piston guard Isiah Thomas, currently the head coach at FIU. “He taught us a lot on and off the court. He was an old-school coach who cared about players. He’ll be missed.”

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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