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Former NBA great Gene Shue dies at 90

Jan 6, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; The NBA logo on the floor before the game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Golden State Warriors at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Gene Shue, whose playing and coaching career in the NBA spanned four decades, died at age 90, retired sports columnist Peter Vecsey reported Monday.

Shue was a five-time All-Star guard and two-time All-NBA selection as a player and twice was named NBA Coach of the Year.

Shue was taken No. 3 overall in the 1954 NBA Draft by the then-Philadelphia Warriors. He averaged 14.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 699 career games for four teams, most prominently the Fort Wayne/Detroit Pistons (1956-62). All five of his All-Star selections came as a member of the Pistons.

He became the head coach of the then-Baltimore Bullets in 1966 just before he turned 35. He took two teams — the Bullets (1970-71) and Philadelphia 76ers (1976-77) — to the NBA Finals, losing both times. He was named Coach of the Year in 1968-69 and 1981-82, both times with the Bullets franchise.

Shue had two stops with the Bullets — now the Washington Wizards — and also coached the Clippers in two separate stints.

He finished with a career mark of 784-861.

Shue was inducted into University of Maryland’s Hall of Fame in 1991. He was also a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame nominee but did not get elected.

–Field Level Media