Majerus remembered fondly by coaches

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Majerus remembered fondly by coaches

MILWAUKEE The game lost one of its best basketball minds on Saturday with the death of Rick Majerus.

Majerus, 64, died of heart failure in a Los Angeles Hospital according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

He coached at four different schools over the course of a 25-year career, a career that included just one losing season.

His death will be felt by many, including Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, better known as Glen Rivers when they met.

"That's a tough one for me," said an emotional Rivers, visibly shaken by Majerus' death. "He's the one that gave me my name."

While attending a basketball camp as a youth with Majerus as one of the camp counselors, Rivers was wearing a Dr. J (Julius Erving) t-shirt.

Majerus started calling him 'Doc,' and the rest as they say, is history.

The two became even closer during Rivers' three seasons at Marquette (1980-83), where Majerus was an assistant under the legendary Al McGuire.

One of the most talkative coaches in any sport, Rivers had little to say about Majerus.

"I knew before (Saturday's 91-88 loss to Milwaukee) that he wasn't going to make it through the night," said Rivers, knowing he was fighting a losing battle to maintain his composure. "I don't want to talk about it."

His death being too fresh, too painful for the loquacious Rivers to speak about it at length without breaking down.

Bucks assistant coach Jim Boylan was the starting point guard for Marquette's 1977 NIT championship team in which Majerus was an assistant coach.

Hes done so much for basketball at Marquette and all through the state of Wisconsin," Boylan said. "For me personally, hes always been there. Hes one of those guys who, if you dont see Rick for a while and when something was going wrong and you needed help, boom, hed be there. He did so much for me over the years when I was trying to get my career going. Just extending himself and giving you whatever it is you needed, whether it was a phone call, having me come out to Salt Lake and staying with him four or five weeks at a time working. Hed basically give you the shirt off his back, if thats what you needed. He would do whatever it took. Hes going to be really missed. Great person.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.