Rick made me realize you can be a special player and person. Rick hammered you on both. He didn’t hammer you on just being a good basketball player. He hammered you on who you are as a human being, socially and everything. —LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers
Everyone knows ex-Utah basketball coach Rick Majerus was a walking contradiction.
And everyone knows a story of how obsessive, rude, crude and sentimental he was. Those adjectives clash, but that’s how he was.
It depended on your relationship with him.
Here’s yet another endorsement from a former player, one that loved him: Doc Rivers.
Majerus was an assistant at Marquette when the current Clippers coach played there. This is how he described Majerus on Monday, calling him “the most influential person in my life, basketball-wise”:
“Well, since sixth or seventh grade, I’ve know Rick Majerus — sixth grade. He was — when you grow up in Chicago, everybody’s good, so you don’t ever get a chance to really believe you’re better than anybody.
“The furthest I went was in my car to Milwaukee. Rick made me realize you can be a special player and person. Rick hammered you on both. He didn’t hammer you on just being a good basketball player. He hammered you on who you are as a human being, socially and everything.”
There are many who disliked Majerus, certain players included. But others still swear by him. To me he was the most conflicted, complicated coach I’ve ever been around. But the one thing I can conclude is if he had your back, he was a good ally to have.