Elie in 2008
November 26, 1963|
New York City, New York
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
Power Memorial Academy|
(New York City, New York)
|College||American International (1981–1985)|
|NBA draft||1985 / Round: 7 / Pick: 160th overall|
|Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
|Number||8, 20, 17|
|1987||Unión de Santa Fe|
|1991–1992||Golden State Warriors|
|1992–1993||Portland Trail Blazers|
|1998–2000||San Antonio Spurs|
|2003–2004||San Antonio Spurs (assistant)|
|2004–2006||Golden State Warriors (assistant)|
|2007–2009||Dallas Mavericks (assistant)|
|2009–2011||Sacramento Kings (assistant)|
|2011–2013||New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets (assistant)|
|2015–2016||Orlando Magic (assistant)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||6,265 (8.6 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,017 (2.8 rpg)|
|Assists||1,875 (2.6 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Mario Antoine Elie (born November 26, 1963) is an American basketball coach and former basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Elie grew up in New York City and played college basketball at American International College. In the 1985 NBA draft, the Milwaukee Bucks drafted Elie in the seventh round as the 160th overall pick.
Elie began his professional basketball career in 1986 in the Irish Superleague, and later played elsewhere in Portugal, in Argentina, and in the CBA, the USBL, and the World Basketball League. Elie first played in the NBA in 1990 for the Philadelphia 76ers and went on to play for the Golden State Warriors, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Phoenix Suns before retiring from the NBA in 2001. Elie won three NBA titles: two in 1994 and 1995 with the Rockets and one in 1999 with the Spurs.
Elie began his coaching career in 2003 as an assistant with the Spurs, and later held similar positions with the Dallas Mavericks, the Sacramento Kings, the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, and the Orlando Magic.
Early life and career
Elie, who is of Haitian heritage, grew up in New York City. He was named "Mario" for opera singer Mario Lanza. His father died after Elie graduated from college. He had a brother named Clark, an amateur basketball player who died in a car accident in October 2009. He also has a sister named Nancy.
Elie attended Power Memorial Academy, where he played basketball alongside Chris Mullin under coach Steve Donohue. Elie played street ball in Central Park and other locations in New York City during the 1980s, trying and failing several times to get into the NBA. His nickname on the New York playgrounds was "The Jedi".
Elie played college basketball at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Though Elie led AIC to their conference's first NCAA Division II Tournament Quarter-Final, he did not catch on in the NBA right away. Elie was selected with the 160th pick (out of 162 total) in the 1985 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. However, he was waived by the Bucks less than two months later. He was also on the pre-season roster for the 1990–91 Los Angeles Lakers, but was waived before the season started.
In 1986, Elie started his professional career at Killester in Ireland, where he won Player of the Year honors. He later played in the Portuguese League with the Ovarense Aerosoles, and then played in the World Basketball League and with the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association. He also played briefly in the Argentine League, for Unión de Santa Fe.
In the 1990–91 season, Elie finally broke into the NBA, playing three games for the Philadelphia 76ers while on a 10-day contract. He then spent the rest of the season with the Golden State Warriors, where he remained for the 1991–92 season. Elie spent the 1992–93 season with the Portland Trail Blazers before being traded to the Houston Rockets prior to the 1993–94 season.
Elie won two NBA championships with the Rockets, first in 1994 and again in 1995. During this period, Elie was dubbed "Super Mario" and "Junkyard Dog". One highlight of Elie's career came when he hit a clutch three-pointer in Game 7 of the 1995 Western Conference Semifinals against the Phoenix Suns to put the Rockets ahead 113–110 with 7.1 seconds left. The shot is called the "Kiss of Death" by Rockets fans, as Elie made a taunting kissing gesture towards the Suns' bench shortly after he made it. While Elie was a key role player for the Rockets off the bench throughout the regular season and the playoffs, he became a starter in the 1995 NBA Finals. This move paid off for the Rockets, as Elie averaged 16.3 points per game in the Finals—almost double his regular season average—while shooting a stellar 64% from the field. He was also 8 for 14 (.571) from the three-point line, hitting 7 of 10 three-pointers in Games 3 and 4.
Elie played for the Rockets through the 1997–98 season, and then signed with the San Antonio Spurs. He won a third NBA championship with the Spurs in 1999. After playing two seasons for San Antonio and playing the 2000–01 season for the Phoenix Suns, Elie retired. Elie finished his career with 6,265 points in 732 NBA games.
In 2007, Elie was inducted into the New York Basketball Hall of Fame, and was named one of the top ten players in Houston Rockets history.
Elie married Gina Gaston, a journalist and anchorwoman for Houston's KTRK-TV, while he was playing for the Phoenix Suns. He and his wife have triplets: Two boys and one girl. Glenn, Gaston, and Lauren. While Glenn and Gaston where handing out bucket to other teams lauren played soccer.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes seasons in which Elie won an NBA championship|
- "The History of the Northeast-10 Conference". Northeast-10 Conference. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
- "1985 NBA Draft". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
- "Mario Elie NBA & ABA Statistics". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
- We Got Game…The Golden Age of Irish Basketball
- Elie, nuevo asistente de San Antonio Spurs
- NBA.com: Mario Elie Bio Archived 2008-05-11 at the Wayback Machine., NBA.com, accessed June 11, 2008.
- Mavericks name Elie assistant coach
- Mario Elie among three new assistant coaches for Kings Archived 2009-06-26 at the Wayback Machine., NBA.com, accessed November 14, 2009.
- Nets add Carlesimo, Elie to Avery Johnson's coaching staff Archived 2015-10-14 at the Wayback Machine., NBA.com, accessed December 8, 2011.
- "Magic Name Griffin, Mathis, Elie and Henry Assistant Coaches". NBA.com. June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com