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Former NBA Player Michael Ruffin Is Now Coaching in the ABA

Michael Ruffin: coaching.
Michael Ruffin: coaching.

About a year and a half ago, Michael Ruffin an NBA player expecting "big things" for his Portland Trail Blazers.

Now? Ruffin has been named coach for the ABA's Colorado Kings, an expansion team based in Denver, Colorado.

The 33-year-old Ruffin spent nine seasons in the NBA, most notably with the Chicago Bulls during the 2000-2001 season when he started 16 of the 45 games he played in and averaged 2.6 points and 5.8 rebounds while competing with Dragan Tarlac, Elton Brand, Steve Goodrich, Dalibor Bagaric, Jake Voskuhl, Marcus Fizer and the immortal Brad Miller for frontcourt minutes.

"This is a slam dunk for our organization and for Colorado," Durrell Middleton states in the team's press release announcing Ruffin's hiring. "His athletic experience, leadership ability, and keen acumen of the game will prove invaluable. We truly are blessed to have him and we are excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our local talent!"

Ruffin's 'athletic experience' is well-documented on Youtube (though Bullets Forever's Mike Prada wasn't happy with Ruffin exhibiting said experience) and his 'leadership ability' was often alluded to as the reason NBA teams kept signing him even after he reached his prime, but, well, umm... keen acumen of the game?

Regardless of his NBA career, he was at least able to make an NBA career and I'm hopeful his foray into coaching is filled with success.

It isn't a career in computer programming like he had planned to pursue after his playing career, but he should still be able to continue his interest in veterinary medicine as he once owned an exotic collection of pets that included a bearded dragon, three African spur-thighed tortoises, a hedgehog, an African bullfrog, a rabbit, three lizards, a frog, two hamsters, one fish and a pair of ferrets.  (I just learned a lot about Michael Ruffin by reading his official NBA bio.)