Legend: Pedro Ferrandiz, Real Madrid

May 08, 2019 by Euroleague.net Print
Legend: Pedro Ferrandiz, Real Madrid

Pedro Ferrandiz, one of the most decorated coaches in basketball history, rode atop Real Madrid's first golden age. In 14 years as head coach, he led Real to 12 Spanish League and 11 Spanish Cup trophies. Above all, he coached the team to four EuroLeague titles, in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1974. A member of both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the FIBA Hall of Fame, Ferrandiz received dozens of awards, highlighted by the Grand Cross Royal Order of Sports Merit, the most significant sports award in Spain. In 2008, Euroleague Basketball also chose him as one of the 50 most influential contributors to European basketball history.

Not only was he always successful, but Ferrandiz even managed to change basketball's rules. On January 18, 1962, Varese faced Real in a EuroLeague game. With the game tied at 80-80 and most of Real stars fouled out, Ferrandiz told Lorenzo Alocen to score at the basket Real was defending in order to avoid overtime. It was a two-game series, and in the next game, Real easily overcame that two-point loss at home to win the series. FIBA quickly banned scoring intentionally in one's own basket due to that play, but Ferrandiz had been smarter than anyone else. A basketball foundation was created in his honor in 1991 to preserve and promote basketball, publishing books and, at the time, hosting the biggest basketball library in the world.

Ferrandiz was also a successful general manager, as his contacts and basketball knowledge allowed him to sign players like Wayne Hightower, Bob Burgess, Clifford Luyk, Wayne Brabender and Walter Szczerbiak, some of the best players in Real's legendary history. Ferrandiz deserves full credit for Real's trademark run-and-gun basketball style, which continues to lead to successful results under head coach Pablo Laso.

A true pioneer, Ferrandiz, now 90 years old, changed Spanish basketball forever and allowed Real to become a European powerhouse.