Former NBA great Johnny Egan dies at 83

Johnny Egan, the former National Basketball Association (NBA) player and coach, has died at the age of 83, NBA.com reports

The Houston Chronicle reports that Egan died on Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Houston, Texas.

According to the outlet, Egan suffered a fall on May 8 that resulted in head injuries. And, these head injuries appear to have played a role in Egan’s death.

Egan the NBA player

Egan had a career in the NBA both as a player and coach.

As a player, Egan played in 712 games for various teams. These teams included the Detroit Pistons (1961-63), the New York Knicks (1963-65), the Baltimore Bullets (1965-68), the Los Angeles Lakers (1968-70), and the San Diego/Houston Rockets (1970-72).

During his 11-year career, Egan averaged 7.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. He finished his career with over 5,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 2,000 assists. And, he accomplished all of this while being one of the shortest players in the league.

Egan the NBA coach

Following his playing career, Egan, in 1973, became the fourth head coach of the Houston Rockets. He took over for Tex Winter during the 1971-1972 season.

Egan would coach the Rockets for three seasons, leading the franchise to its first-ever playoff series victory in 1975 against his old team the New York Knicks.

Egan’s overall record as the coach of the Rockets was 129-152. He would go on to be the broadcast partner of Bill Worrel, the longtime play-by-play announcer for the Rockets.

“Deeply saddened”

Following the news of Egan’s passing, the Rockets expressed their condolences in a statement that they released on Twitter.

The statement reads:

The Fertitta Family and the Houston Rockets organization are deeply saddened by the passing of former player and head coach John “Johnny” Egan, who was one of the original Houston Rockets. Johnny made Houston his home and was an active member in his community. He remained involved in the Rockets family for five decades, continuing to participate in community and alumni events after his playing and coaching career. Johnny’s vibrant personality and kind spirit will be missed. Our condolences go out to his beloved family.

Egan is survived by his two children, John Jr. and Kim.

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