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Michael Robert Fratello
Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign:
Basketball analyst; former coach
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Mike Fratello Fast Facts:
Captained his high-school basketball, football, baseball and field hockey teams before attending college on a football scholarship. Began his basketball coaching career as an assistant at his high school before moving on to Rhode Island, James Madison and Villanova.
Succeeded Hubie Brown on two of his three NBA head-coaching jobs, first in Atlanta in 1981 (for three games) and again in Memphis in 2005 (after four games under Lionel Hollins).
Named NBA Coach of the Year for 1985 to 1986 after leading the Hawks to 50 wins and a playoff berth. Won several other coach-of-the-year awards the next season, when the Hawks won 57 games and took the Central Division title.
Led the Hawks, Cavaliers and Grizzlies to 11 playoff berths in his 15 full seasons as head coach. Fratello's teams lost in the first round in the last seven of those 11 appearances, however.
Dubbed "Czar of the Telestrator" by NBC play-by-play man Marv Albert for his wizardry in diagramming plays on-screen with NBC in the early 1990s.
Worked as a TNT analyst in three different stints, including 1994 to 1996, 1999 to 2004, and again, starting in 2007. Fratello was reunited with Albert in 2008 on TNT as well as on the YES Network for New Jersey Nets games.
Joked to the New York Post that if Albert doesn't get his coffee "that throws him off for the whole day" and that "I'm the guy that carries his newspaper bag for him."
Montclair State College (now University), Upper Montclair, NJ
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