On This Date: Eddie Donovan passed away

January 20, 2001: Former New York Knicks coach and general manager Eddie Donovan passed away

Eddie Donovan passed away on this date at the age of 78 due to complications from a stroke. A native of Elizabeth, NJ, Donovan spent 4 lackluster seasons as a head coach until he took over reins as the GM in 1965.

Donvoan spent two stints as GM of the Knicks (1965-1970, 1975-1982). Some of his most notable draft picks were Bill Bradley, Cazzie Russell, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, and Phil Jackson. He also appointed Red Holzman as head coach and was responsible for the Dave DeBusschere trade. His acquisitions helped the Knicks ultimately win their only 2 NBA Championships.

Donovan left the Knicks in 1970 to become the GM of the Buffalo Braves (now Los Angeles Clippers). He was responsible for drafting Bob McAdoo and earned the NBA Executive of the Year in the 1973-74 season.

Donovan returned to the Knicks in 1975. The team previously gave Red Holzman both the coach and GM titles and found that both roles were too time consuming.1 His second tenure with the team was largely inconsistent as the team only made the playoffs twice. Some of his notable transactions included re-hiring Red Holzman, drafting Micheal Ray Richardson, and hiring Hubie Brown as head coach.