Former Celtics stiff Vitaly Potapenko, a remnant of the “good ole days,” has been named assistant coach of the Indiana Pacers.
“We are very pleased Vitaly is going to be part of our staff,” said Pacers Coach Jim O’Brien. “He was an extremely hard worker as a player and did a great job in Fort Wayne for our NBADL affiliate last year.”
“I’m definitely happy to be here working for Coach O’Brien and (assistant coach) Frank Vogel who I had the opportunity to play for in Boston,” said the 35-year-old Potapenko, a native of Kiev, USSR. “It’s great to be back in the Midwest where I went to college (Wright State) and it’s great to be in Indiana where basketball is so popular and the fans are so great.”
I can still remember to this day when the Celtics traded Andrew Declerq and a first-round pick for Potapenko. One of the best days in my life! The Celtics were going to be contenders! I couldn’t believe the C’s had acquired one of the best centers ever!
…Ever to come out of Wright State, that is. By the way, I can only hope a whole bunch of people were fired for picking Vitaly with the 12th pick in the 1996 Draft — the 13th pick was that arrogant prick I hate with all my heart Kobe.