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On the first day of the Knicks' training camp last fall, Fratello called the assembled players something unprintable. They soon began calling him Tattoo, for his resemblance to Herv� Villachaize on television's Fantasy Island, while around the front office he became known as Ditto, for his similarity to Brown in coif and temperament. Fratello had been a finalist for the Chicago job last summer, but at least one Bulls official was concerned that at 5'7", Fratello might not have the stature to deal with NBA players.
The record suggests otherwise. Fratello, 36, has already logged plenty of time in relief of his mentors, Brown and Loughery, both of whom have ejection complexes. In March of 1982, with the Hawks down by 22 against the Knicks, Loughery was bounced from a game. Fratello guided the Hawks back to win by six. The next night Loughery was banished again, with the Hawks trailing Detroit by 16. Fratello took over and Atlanta won by eight.
Bach is the only former NBA player among the neophytes. He appeared in 34 games for the Celtics in 1948-49, and his jersey is hanging in Boston Garden. Never mind that Bach, who wore No. 17, has John Havlicek to thank for that. At the age of 26 he got his first college head coaching position, at Fordham, where he had played. He stayed 18 seasons before moving to Penn State.
Despite his 28 seasons of directing college teams, Bach, 57, says he has learned a lot in the last four years as an assistant under Al Attles. "I've served admirals in the Navy," says Bach, who served during World War II as a lieutenant junior grade. "I understand organization." When Attles tore an Achilles tendon during the 1979-80 season, Bach stepped in for 21 games. And he coached the Warriors for the final four games of this season, while Attles was scouting.
The 41-year-old Lynam's two seasons as Ramsay's assistant in Portland helped him win the Clipper position. "We were impressed by Lynam's background in math," says Arn Tellem, San Diego's assistant general counsel. "He had an amazing command of statistics." He also hopped up during an interview to demonstrate how Philadelphia's Maurice Cheeks cuts guards off defensively.
Lynam's reputation as a teacher also impressed the Clippers, who have several young players, among them Cummings and Tom Chambers. "A young team benefits most from Jim's abilities," Ramsay says. One student likely to be helped: Michael Brooks, who went to Lynam's high school, Philadelphia's West Catholic, and hasn't lived up to expectations as a pro.
As Albeck's assistant for four seasons in Cleveland and San Antonio, McHone delivered part of each practice and half-time spiel. "Stan is one of the reasons assistants are getting chances now," says McHone, 40. "He was an assistant [for L.A. and three ABA teams] who moved up and did a remarkable job in four years." After Albeck left, Spurs stars George Gervin and Artis Gilmore appealed to management to appoint McHone, who at $95,000 will most likely be the lowest-paid coach in the league.
McHone, who spent nine years under Hugh Durham at Florida State and Georgia, is from western North Carolina, married his hometown sweetheart and likes country music. "Mo's low key and low profile," says Albeck. "Maybe that raises doubts about discipline. But discipline comes with authority."
Without titular authority, though, comes obscurity. During a recent playoff game Referee Jack Madden whistled a technical. "T on you," Madden sputtered. "The assistant. Mashone."