Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Gonzo Gets His Break: Former Pirates Coach Working With the Knicks
PHILADELPHIA — Bobby Gonzalez appears to have finally gotten his big NBA break.
The former Seton Hall and Manhattan coach is currently helping out Knicks head coach Mike Woodson with the team in Las Vegas, although he is not employed by the team.
“Coach Woodson invited me to be with his staff and the New York Knicks team for NBA Summer League in Las Vegas,” Gonzalez, who often frequents Knicks practices in Westchester, told SNY.tv from Las Vegas. “I’m in all the meetings, practices, etc., basically to learn the NBA game and contribute in any way I can.
“I’m very excited. It’s a huge break and opportunity for me. AS I mentioned, most people want me to either stay with college or that I’m a natural for TV but as I said my goal since I left Seton Hall was to pursue my dream of coaching in the NBA.”
Gonzalez has been out of work as a coach since he was fired by Seton Hall in 2010.
Ironically, former Knicks coach Larry Brown helped Gonzalez land the position with Woodson.
Woodson worked for Brown in Detroit and Philadelphia and the two used to share the same agent, Joe Glass.
“I’ve had people take care of me in my life when I was out there struggling,” Brown, now the head coach at SMU, told SNY.tv at the Reebok Breakout Challenge.
“I’ve admired the way his teams played, how hard they played. I’ve had some Godfathers help me, so I’m just trying to help him. Right now he’s with the Knicks in Vegas, helping Woody. Mike Woodson’s got him involved in meetings and practice plans. He’s not allowed to be on the floor.
“He’s being a resource for Mike.”
Brown first met Gonzalez several years ago when he was coaching Charlotte and said that he considered hiring him as an assistant SMU.
“I considered him,” Brown said. “You know I got so many people that I wanted to help and get involved. But he came down to Charlotte and spent time with me when I was down there. Guys that I’ve been able to help are guys that’ve been part of my family and I always tell Bobby, ‘I can teach people all the basketball that I’ve been taught, but I can’t teach y0u to love me, so that’s my first requirement.”
Gonzalez said he was thrilled that Brown helped him out.
“I’ve grown up a lifelong Knicks fan so for Coach Larry Brown to help me and for Coach Woodson to give me this opportunity is a real thrill and I think is a big step towards coaching in the league.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.