Frank Catapano

Frank Catapano gets assist on Thibs, Brooks

By Steve Bulpett  | Article Courtesy of:  http://www.bostonherald.com
Frank Catapano

Frank Catapano

ORLANDO, Fla. — The two coaches in last night’s All-Star Game were separated by some 30 feet on the Amway Center sideline.

They were linked by a Boston College product who lived much of his life in Marblehead and now calls New Hampshire home.

Frank Catapano played a critical role more than 20 years ago in starting Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks on long roads that eventually landed them here as coaches of the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder, respectively.

The late Bill Musselman was coaching Albany in the old CBA when he came to respect Catapano for how hard he worked as an agent for all his clients — not just the stars. Musselman steered people Catapano’s way, and the two built a strong basketball relationship, which is how Brooks came aboard.

Thibodeau was coaching at his alma mater, Salem State, when he wisely got close with Catapano. Thibodeau moved on to Harvard, and Catapano recommended him to Musselman, who was about to become coach of the expansion Minnesota Timberwolves.

If not for the agent from Marblehead, who knows?

“It’s great because, No. 1, I think both of them have worked really hard to get where they are,” Catapano said. “Who would have thought it? I don’t think anyone would have predicted this when I first met Tommy at Salem State and Scotty was playing for Albany.

“Tommy had a goal in mind, and he stayed with it. He outdid anything I ever expected. He worked very hard all those years. I introduced him to Bill and I told him I thought he would really work hard.”

Added Thibodeau: “Frank is an incredible guy — not only a basketball guy, but he’s a great person. He represented a number of players on the Albany Patroons. Bill Musselman was the coach there. He brought me up to Albany to watch some practices. That’s how I ended up getting hired by Musselman.”

Brooks was a 5-foot-11 point guard out of Cal-Irvine looking for a chance.

“Frank Catapano is one of the guys that not too many people talk about in NBA circles, but he gave me an opportunity to be represented by him when nobody wanted to represent me,” he said. “Bill Musselman just said, ‘Hey, this guy Frank from Boston wants to represent you.’ I said, ‘Where do I sign up?’

“I was with Frank my entire playing career. He’s loyal, and I’m loyal to him. He’s a tremendous friend. I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago. I think he’s one of the best at what he does. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear; he tells you the truth. And as a player, that’s what you want. That’s what you need.”

Catapano recalled that, “Bill Musselman called me and said he was a good kid and he needed an agent. I talked to Scotty on the phone and I started representing him before I ever met him. I brought Ernie DiGregorio up there for a tryout. Bill needed a point guard, and Ernie wanted to get to get back into basketball.

“They had a scrimmage, and Scotty was a tough little guy. He got into a beef with Scott Roth (a 6-8 forward) and slugged him. You couldn’t help but like Scott. Then we got him to Philadelphia, and (coach) Jimmy Lynam really liked him. I hate to separate clients because I’ve had some guys that I really like, but Scotty got the max out of everything he ever did. He’s just a great person. I can’t state that enough.”

Catapano has represented the likes of Michael Adams and Manute Bol and still has a few players (former Northeastern standout Matt Janning among them), but he’s also heavily involved in real estate and owns a few thoroughbreds.

“At 70 years old, competing in the rat race for first-round picks and that kind of stuff really doesn’t appeal to me,” he said.

Asked about his relatively new passion for the thoroughbreds, Catapano breaks into a hearty laugh that can heat a room.

“No horse has ever called me from Turkey or Israel at 2 in the morning,” he said. “And the horses don’t complain about the food or their location.”

It is assumed that Scott Brooks and Tom Thibodeau enjoyed their accommodations this weekend, as well.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/basketball/celtics/view.bg?articleid=1406564

By Steve Bulpett  | Article Courtesy of:  http://www.bostonherald.com

#################################################

In this excerpt from The Massachusetts School of Law’s Educational Forum; Associate Dean Michael Coyne speaks with former General Manager of The Boston Celtics, Jan Volk, as well as Frank Catapano, NBA Player Agent, about the business of basketball.

The Massachusetts School of Law also presents information on important current affairs to the general public in television and radio broadcasts, an intellectual journal, conferences, author appearances, blogs and books. For more information visit mslaw.edu.

Player agent Frank Catapano discusses the preparedness of high school athletes for the transition into college sports and the NBA in this excerpt from the Massachusetts School of Law’s Educational Forum on Chris Herren’s memoir: Basketball Junkie. Associate Dean Michael Coyne is the host.

About Frank Catapano

Frank has been a certified National Basketball Association Player Agent since 1982. Frank’s respect amongst NBA executives is unprecedented.

His knowledge, integrity and unique approach have earned him tremendous respect in the basketball community.

He has represented over forty past and present NBA players, including David Wesley, Howard Eisley, Dana Barros, Adrian Griffin, Manute Bol, Sam Mitchell, and Sidney Lowe.

Frank has been requested by the National Basketball Players Association to participate in several NBA labor agreement negotiations.

During his career, Frank has effectively represented over 300 overseas and minor league players, assisting them in their development with job opportunities and sincere advice.

Frank is a graduate of Boston College and Case-Western Reserve Law School.