NEW YORK (AP) Michael Goldberg, who served as executive director of the National Basketball Coaches Association for nearly four decades and was revered by many within the game, has died.
His death was announced Saturday by the NBCA. It came within a week of two significant honors for Goldberg, with the NBCA announcing plans to begin issuing a coach of the year award in his name and the Basketball Hall of Fame revealing that he would be a recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award later this year.
Goldberg was 73. No cause of death was immediately announced.
''Michael Goldberg was a beloved member of the NBA family and a dear friend to me,'' NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday.
Perhaps best known for his love of bow ties, Goldberg took over as executive director of the NBCA in 1980, with some of his accomplishments there including improved retirement funds and insurance plans for coaches as well as securing marketing opportunities for coaches.
''For more than 40 years in professional basketball, he poured his passion and energy into strengthening and growing our game,'' Silver said. ''Dressed always to the nines with his trademark bow ties, he advocated relentlessly for NBA coaches and was one of the driving forces behind the league's global growth.''
The NBCA said it was dedicating this season to Goldberg, and would have its members wear bow-tie pins in his honor. NBCA President Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks called Goldberg ''a leader, pioneer and trusted friend.''
''Within our profession, Michael's authenticity and polite persistence made him iconic,'' Carlisle said. ''I have always been in awe of this man who did so much for so many and asked for so little in return.''
Goldberg, a native New Yorker, was a graduate of New York University and St. John's School of Law. He also was a branch chief for the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, and was General Counsel for the American Basketball Association until it merged with the NBA in 1976.
As a sports agent, among the athletes he represented was U.S. Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton.
''I got her her Wheaties box,'' Goldberg told New York Magazine in 2015.
In the same interview, he explained his penchant for wearing the bow ties.
''I started out just wearing them during the summer, but then when I got into the sports business, I found that people would remember me and be like, `Oh, you're the guy with the bow tie,'" Goldberg said. ''And I thought, `Well, that's not bad, that'll be my little brand.''
Goldberg is survived by his wife, two daughters and two grandchildren.