SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Bill Bertka has spent well over half of his life working in the NBA and now the soon-to-be 92 year old Santa Barbara resident is being honored by the league.
Bertka received the 2019 Tex Winter Assistant Coach Impact Award.
His career in the NBA started in 1968 as a scout for the Los Angeles Lakers. He became the first general manager of the New Orleans Jazz in 1974 and was also an assistant coach for the Jazz.
But most of his time in the NBA has been with the Lakers. In 1981 he was an assistant coach under Pat Riley and Bertka has been with L.A. ever since. He is currently a special assistant under the general manager and a Lakers consultant.
He has ten NBA Championship rings and has worked under 17 Lakers head coaches.
Locally Bertka served as Santa Barbara's recreation director throughout the 1960's.
He was a founder of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table that is still going strong today, honoring prep athletes at a weekly luncheon.
Before coming to Santa Barbara, Bertka was the first head basketball coach and athletic director at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria where he led the Bulldogs to a State Championship in 1957.
Bill Bertka turns 92 in August.