By Mike Patton
NABJ Black News & Views
Lenny Wilkens was a talented player for the St. Louis Hawks, Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trailblazers from 1960 to 1975. He was a great point guard, but also a talented leader — so much so that the Seattle franchise named him head coach in 1969 and kept him on as head coach for three seasons while he still played.
Wilkens would also serve as player/coach in his one season playing for the Portland Trailblazers. He later retired and became a full-time coach with Portland. He also coached for multiple teams over his career, which stretched to 2005.
On Nov. 28, 1992, Wilkens was coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers as they lost 95-93 to the Orlando Magic on the road. In that game, he joined Don Nelson in appearing in 2,500 games. Wilkens would eventually pass Nelson in the 1994-1995 season for the number of games appeared in.