NBA

Former Pacers coach George Irvine dies at age 69

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers say former NBA coach George Irvine has died. He was 69 and had been battling cancer.

The Pacers announced the death Tuesday after speaking with Irvine's family.

"George Irvine brought me to Indiana and in my mind he was the beginning of NBA basketball with the Pacers in our building process for the years to come," Pacers GM/President Donnie Walsh said in a press release. "He had a great basketball mind, which allowed him to function at a high level as a coach, administrator and purveyor of talent. George was a once-in-a-lifetime friend and one of the best men in my life."

He became Indiana's head coach in 1984 after three seasons as an assistant with the team. He went 48-116 in two seasons and later returned as the Pacers' interim coach in 1988-89. Irvine got a second chance with Detroit in 1999-2000 and stuck around for one more season. The Washington state native finished his head coaching career with a record of 100-190.

Irvine also served as an assistant with the Pacers, Pistons, Golden State, Denver and the Virginia Squires in the defunct ABA. The Seattle Supersonics took him in the eighth round of the 1970 draft.