Big3 Big3 Coaches Coaches

Rick Mahorn, famous Detroit’s” bad boy”

NBA history produced so many unforgettable games in which two opposite players collided and had a physical clash on the court. Detroit’s generation in the 80’s was well known because of that kind of behavior during the games. Resilience and grittiness were also characteristics of those players from Motor City.

Denis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, and Joe Dummars were some of those stars who attracted the attention of the NBA audience of the most prestigious national basketball league on the planet. Their teammate was Rick Mahorn whose profile was deeply examined by NBA experts. We are going to tell the story about this player and, later, coach.

Rick is having unique road because he is the only person that has been able to win NBA, WNBA, and Big3 leagues. Everybody considers him a very important figure in the development of classic and 3×3 basketball in the USA. His presence in Motor City Bad Boys was only reflecting the violent picture of the city at that time.

What was the turning point in Rick’s professional basketball career?

After spending five seasons in Washington Bullets averaging 9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, 27-year-old Mahorn was sent together with Mike Gibson to Detroit. His profile was very interesting to Pistons because he had sheer size. Other teams were exploiting the lack of rebounding skills in defense on Detroit’s side, so reinforcement was warmly welcomed.

In the winning 1988/1989 season, Mahorn scored 7.3 points and had 6.9 rebounds per game. Finally, Rick played in 1997/1998 in Motor City averaging 2.4 points.

Where did Mahorn head next in his lucrative career?

Leaving Mahorn unprotected in the 1989 draft was a strange and surprising move by Detroit Pistons. The player was “wanted good” on the market with Minnesota being the fastest team to bring Rick into their roster. However, Timberwolves and the power forward couldn’t agree on some parts of the contract.

Rick Mahorn demanded salary raise in Minneapolis, which couldn’t be accomplished by the coaching staff of his new team. Center was so persistent in making it in his way, that Minnesota even thought of filing a lawsuit. Many teams were standing in line offering better conditions, but Rick’s choice fell on Philadelphia.

What was the next station in Rick’s road through NBA?

Following parting ways with Minnesota, Mahorn went to Philadelphia. His companionship with his previous rival on the court Charles Barkley was expected to be amazing and the spectators saw exactly that. In the 96ers they formed a powerful rebounding duo called “Thump N’ Bump”.

During two seasons, Rick went on to score 9.85 points per game throughout 155 games overall in Philadelphia’s shirt.

The number of rebounds Mahorn made was 7.6 and 7.8 in 1990 and 1991, respectively. Unfortunately, Philadelphia failed to reach the finals of the Eastern Division in both campaigns being eliminated in the semifinals.

Finally, ex-Detroit “bad boy” had his second tenure with Philadelphia in his final 1998/1999 season in NBA and entire career.

Which step did Mahorn make after his experience in Philadelphia?

After finishing his collaboration with the 96ers, Rick decided to go overseas and agreed with Virtus in the Italian league.

According to the contract, he was expected to receive a $1.9 million salary for that 1991/1992 season. The former Philadelphia center didn’t obey completely to instructions of the coach, so Virtus had no other choice but to drop him from the team. Controversy in the city of Bologna sent the hero of our story to the most popular national league again.

What happened with Rick Mahorn after the European odyssey?

Leaving Italy in disappointing circumstances didn’t shake Rick who put his signature with New Jersey Nets right away.

Receiving a $ 500000 salary the first season and increasing by 30 percent in each of the other two seasons looked promising for Mahorn when he signed the three-year contract. Playing besides legendary Drazen Petrovic was an exciting experience for Rick, but the Nets ended the 1992/1993 campaign in the first round of playoff against Cleveland.

The best individual result during four seasons spent in New Jersey’s shirt for this power forward came in the first season averaging 3.9 points in 74 games.

What was his first destination in the Big3 league?

After retirement from NBA, Rick was ready for new challenges in his basketball life. Coaching in Fireball, Ice Cube’s and Jeff Quatinetz’s project, appeared as the perfect opportunity to test his leadership skills. Taking charge of team Trilogy and coaching players like Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington raised the popularity of the league.

In the inaugural Big3 season, Trilogy recorded 10 consecutive victories on the road to the trophy. Mahorn’s excellent strategy in bringing players to the roster and tactics in the games contributed a lot to Trilogy’s first place in 2017. Incredible Rick’s tactic earned him a 2017 Big3 Coach of the Year.


Which team did Rick coach in the Fireball’s second season?

Kenyon MartinAl Harrington, Rashad McCantsDahntay Jones, Dion Glover, and James White were led by Rick Mahorn in the second Big3 season.

Trilogy won the debut season of this competition and subsequently, passionate fans raised big hopes regarding new challenges. However, they ended up devastated as the player produced poor performances. Kenyon and his teammates finished the regular part of the season with a 3-5 score which was not sufficient for participating in a playoff.

Sixth place in the standings was not something a temperament figure like Rick was pleased with.

What occurred in Mahorn’s third campaign in Fireball?

Failing to win the trophy in 2018 was followed by Rick’s departure from Trilogy and signing for Enemies. Becoming the head coach of this team and working with Royce White and Gilbert Arenas was the next step in his interesting coaching career in Big3.

Having a 3-5 score at the end of the regular part of the season and ending in 11th place at the Big3 standings was not something the coaching staff expected of this roster. However, it was clear that more time was needed for the implementation of Mahorn’s ideas in a new environment.

Which team was under Rick’s charge in Big3’s fourth season?

The space for adjustment and margin for error were too small in Enemies, so ex NBA player and the team parted ways after the 2019 season.

Following the average score made with Enemies, Rick decided to change his surroundings one more time and put his signature on a deal with Aliens ahead of the start of the 2021 season. Greg OdenShannon Brown, and Brandon Rush were stars who were happy and excited to collaborate with the famous coach.

Unfortunately, his new team did not have a spectacular season at all ending the campaign with 2 wins and 4 defeats.

What results did Mahorn achieve with Aliens in 2022?

Aliens decided to keep faith in an experienced coach, so he led the roster in the fifth campaign of the most intriguing national contest in 3×3 basketball.

The team turned to a totally new strategy, so the players of certain profiles were needed. Aliens brought Dusan Bulut, Karlis Lasmanis, and Tamas Ivosev before the start of the 2022 season in the hope they can raise team performances to a higher level.

Consequentially, the Aliens played well in the regular part finishing it with a 5-3 score and qualifying for the Top 4. They were defeated in the tight clash against Trilogy in the semifinal with 50-45, so Rick’s dream about another trophy was violently crushed.

His personality and determination on the court were able to break the mental structure of opposing players. As a coach, he continued to dominate among players who were under his charge. Is he going to add more silverware in Big3? It’s hard to say, but never underestimate Mahorn.


About the author

Marjan Nikolic

Passionate sports guy, coming from the eastern Europe where best basketball is played (yeah, I know you will not agree!). Dynamic 3x3 basket has special place in my heart.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment