Today in Sports History: December 18

By Veronica An

In 1984, Gene Shue reached 700 coaching victories when the Washington Bullets defeated the New Jersey Nets 104-95. Only Red Auerbach and Jack Ramsay reached the 700 victory mark. Shue was the third overall pick in the 1954 draft and spend 10 years as a guard in the NBA. After his playing career, Shue earned a reputation for helping poorly performing teams become competitive. Although his first season coaching the Baltimore Bullets ended with a 16-40 record, he later led the team to the NBA Finals in 1971. He then took over the Philadelphia 76ers who were coming off a 73-loss season. He dealt with player in-fighting and clashed with management before being fired during the 1977-8 season. Shue led the newly formed San Diego Clippers to a 43-39 record their first season but was fired the in 1980 after an 11-game losing streak. Shue returned to the Bullets in 1980 and ended his coaching career with a regular season record of 784–861. He won NBA Coach of the Year in both 1968 and 1981 and was the Eastern Conference Coach for the 1969 and 1977 All-Star Games. Shue was known for his ability to turn losing teams into winners through unconventional plays and a focus on fundamentals.

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