NEW YORK: Michael Goldberg, long-time executive director of the union for NBA coaches, has died, the league and National Basketball Coaches Association (NBCA) announced on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
No details of his passing or age were given in the announcements or listed in his biographies on the union website or that of the National Media Group, of which he was chief executive.
Goldberg, a 1963 graduate of New York University, became executive director of the NBCA in 1980 after serving as attorney for the American Basketball Association through its merger into the NBA.
For more than 35 years, Goldberg fought for better deals for NBA coaches and assistant coaches, securing retirement investment funds and disability insurance as the league enjoyed record growth.
“Michael Goldberg was a beloved member of the NBA family and a dear friend,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “For more than 40 years in professional basketball, he poured his passion and energy into strengthening and growing our game.
“Dressed always to the nines with his trademark bow ties, he advocated relentlessly for NBA coaches and was one of the driving forces behind the league’s global growth.”
All NBA coaches will wear a special bow-shaped pin bearing Goldberg’s initials during games for the remainder of the season.
The Basketball Hall of Fame announced earlier Saturday that Goldberg would receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Last week, the NBCA announced the creation of an NBA Coach of the Year Award named for Goldberg and voted upon only by the league’s 30 head coaches.