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Richie Adubato
Personal information
Born (1937-11-23) November 23, 1937 (age 83)
Irvington, New Jersey[1]
Career information
High schoolEast Orange
(East Orange, New Jersey)
CollegeWilliam Paterson
Coaching career1969–2007
Career history
As coach:
1969–1972Upsala College (assistant)
1972–1978Upsala College
19781979Detroit Pistons (assistant)
1979–1980Detroit Pistons (interim)
19821986New York Knicks (assistant)
19861989Dallas Mavericks (assistant)
19891993Dallas Mavericks
1993–1994Cleveland Cavaliers (assistant)
19941997Orlando Magic (assistant)
1997Orlando Magic (interim)
19992004New York Liberty
20052007Washington Mystics

Richard Adam Adubato[2] (born November 23, 1937) is a former basketball coach in the National Basketball Association. He has served as head coach for three NBA teams, the Detroit Pistons, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Orlando Magic.

Adubato replaced Brian Hill halfway through the 1996–97 season and guided the Magic to a 21–12 record and made their fourth consecutive playoff appearance. The Magic then nearly upset Pat Riley's Miami Heat in the playoffs with the help of spectacular play from Penny Hardaway, but ultimately lost the series 3–2.

In 1999, Adubato became head coach for the New York Liberty of the Women's National Basketball Association, making his WNBA debut on June 10, 1999 when he guided the Liberty to an 87–60 victory over the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Rockers. With the Liberty posting impressive attendance figures for the third straight season, Madison Square Garden played host to the first-ever WNBA All-Star Game - a sellout (18,649) - on July 14, 1999. Four Liberty players were selected to the Eastern Conference squad: Rebecca Lobo, Teresa Weatherspoon, Kym Hampton, and Vickie Johnson.

With Adubato at the helm, the Liberty posted an overall mark of 18-14 and won its first Eastern Conference title. After defeating Charlotte in the first round of the playoffs, the team faced a rematch with the defending WNBA champion Houston Comets. Despite falling short of the title, the series was pushed to a third game when Weatherspoon made the most famous shot in WNBA history -- a half-court, buzzer-beating shot that won Game 2 before a stunned Houston squad and Compaq Center crowd.

Under Adubato, the Liberty went to the finals three out of four seasons and won the Eastern Conference regular-season championship three times.

Adubato took over as coach of the Washington Mystics, but left the Mystics on June 1, 2007, reportedly upset over his team's 0–4 start to the season, a number of recent transactions, and his contract status.

During his NBA coaching career, Adubato replaced Dick Vitale as head coach of the Detroit Pistons after 12 games of the 1979–80 season. He later was head coach of the Dallas Mavericks for 264 games between 1989 and 1992.

Adubato currently serves as the radio color analyst for the Orlando Magic.

Adubato has also been an assistant NBA coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, and Orlando Magic and an NBA scout for the Atlanta Hawks.

Head coaching record


Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Detroit 1979–80 70 12 58 .171 6th in Central Missed Playoffs
Dallas 1989–90 71 42 29 .592 3rd in Midwest 3 0 3 .000 Lost in First Round
Dallas 1990–91 82 28 54 .341 6th in Midwest Missed Playoffs
Dallas 1991–92 82 22 60 .268 5th in Midwest Missed Playoffs
Dallas 1992–93 29 2 27 .069 (fired)
Orlando 1996–97 33 21 12 .636 3rd in Atlantic 5 2 3 .400 Lost in First Round
Career 367 127 240 .346 8 2 6 .250


Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
New York 1999 32 18 14 .563 1st in East 6 3 3 .500 Lost in WNBA Finals
New York 2000 32 20 12 .625 1st in East 7 4 3 .571 Lost in WNBA Finals
New York 2001 32 21 11 .656 2nd in East 6 3 3 .500 Lost in Conf. Finals
New York 2002 32 18 14 .563 1st in East 8 4 4 .500 Lost in WNBA Finals
New York 2003 34 16 18 .471 6th in East Missed Playoffs
New York 2004 16 7 9 .438 (fired)
Washington 2005 34 16 18 .471 5th in East Missed Playoffs
Washington 2006 34 18 16 .529 4th in East 2 0 2 .000 Lost in First Round
Washington 2007 4 0 4 .000 (resigned)
Career 250 134 116 .536 29 14 15 .483


  1. ^ Baum, Barry. "ADUBATO IS LADIES’ MAN – AFTER COACHING THE BOYS, RICHIE’S MADE SMOOTH TRANSITION TO WNBA", New York Post, August 25, 2000. Accessed September 19, 2015. "And in his second season, Adubato has been more than willing to oblige. With Edison-like thoroughness and preparation, the 62-year-old Irvington, N.J. native has guided the Liberty to its second straight Finals berth."
  2. ^ The Sporting News: 1992-93 Official NBA Register. St. Louis, Missouri: The Sporting News Publishing Co. 1992.