Mike Fratello Nickname The Czar

February 23, 2012 by staff 

Mike Fratello Nickname The Czar, Michael Robert “Mike” Fratello born February 24, 1947 is nickname The Czar American coloranlyst and a professional basketball coach. He previously coached the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA, and is currently the head coach of the Ukraine national basketball team.

Funny story about the Czar, Mike Fratello, from the Memphis Commerical Appeal (or whatever the heck that paper is called). They were a good broadcast team.

When [Marv] Albert talks about Fratello, there’s a lot of laughing and verbal jabbing. It’s safe to say that
Albert has never had a broadcast partner that he has poked more fun of than Fratello, who Albert nicknamed “The Czar.”

It just came out, Albert said of the nickname. “We just got the telestrator for our broadcasts, and Mike was very adept on it. I just called him the Czar of the Telestrator.

It stuck. There may have been Czar T-shirts and hats at one time. I think he makes his family call him that. Albert said he and Fratello have stayed in contact.

He called me last (Thursday) night after I’d done the Lakers-Cavs game,” Albert said. “He left me a message saying he still wanted to be included in the welcome to the telecast. Welcome to Staples Center with Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Craig Sager and the Czar.

I call him and tell him when I watch Grizzlies’ games that it’s very annoying when he’s up off the bench and on the floor. It’s very distracting, particularly when it’s in HDTV.

It’s tough to get a straight answer from Albert about Fratello, like asking him about Fratello’s desire to get back into coaching.

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