Stirling, longtime NBA executive and scout, dies at 86
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Gordon ''Scotty'' Stirling, the former NBA vice president of operations and longtime team executive and scout, died Wednesday. He was 86.
The NBA said Stirling died in Sacramento.
''Scotty was a highly regarded league executive who dedicated more than 35 years of his life to our game,'' NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. ''He exuded passion for basketball and worked tirelessly in front-office roles with the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings and the ABA's Oakland Oaks.
''Scotty also set a high standard as the NBA's vice president of operations. With his vast knowledge and keen eye for talent, he earned the respect of his peers and colleagues. We extend our deepest sympathies to Scotty's wife, Pam, and the Stirling family.''
Stirling spent 27 years with the Kings from 1987-2013, including 24 seasons as scouting director.
''He was more than a trusted colleague, he was a mentor and a friend,'' said Jerry Reynolds, a former Kings coach and executive who is now the team's television analyst. ''I will miss him dearly and have his family in my thoughts.''
A former sports writer for the Oakland Tribune, Stirling was general manager of the 1967 AFL champion Oakland Raiders and the 1968-69 ABA champion Oaks.
He was the Warriors' assistant to the president from 1976-82, spent three years in the NBA office as vice president of basketball operations, and was the Knicks' general manager in 1986-87.
''Scotty was an incredible person who had a tremendous love for the game of basketball and the people associated with it,'' said former Warriors coach Alvin Attles, now an ambassador with the team. ''Personally, he was someone who I leaned on heavily during my career as a coach and as an executive in the front office. He was a true confidant for me and one of the key figures to the success of professional basketball in the Bay Area and Northern California in general. He'll be dearly missed.''
Stirling also was a sports-talk radio host in the Bay Area.
''Scotty was a true original, a pioneer in his industry, and one of the warmest people I've ever known,'' Kings general manager Vlade Divac said. ''I'm deeply saddened by his passing and will be forever thankful to have known and worked closely with him.''
Stirling served in the U.S. Army, graduated from University of San Francisco and earned a master's degree from Adelphi University.
Stirling is survived by wife Pam; sons Gordon, Donald – a member of the Utah Jazz organization – and Kevin; sister Helen Boak; brother Archie Stirling; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by brother John T. Stirling.