|Born||July 2, 1931|
Minoa, New York
|Died||December 13, 2001 (aged 70)|
Fort Myers, Florida
|Listed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Listed weight||186 lb (84 kg)|
|High school||Minoa (Minoa, New York)|
|NBA draft||1954 / Round: 2 / Pick: 12th overall|
|Selected by the Philadelphia Warriors|
|Number||5, 18, 15, 6, 21|
|1957–1965||Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||8,622 (12.2 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,705 (3.8 rpg)|
|Assists||3,215 (4.6 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Lawrence Ronald Costello (July 2, 1931 – December 13, 2001) was an American professional basketball player and coach. He was known as the National Basketball Association's last two-handed set shooter.
After playing at Niagara University, he joined the Philadelphia Warriors in 1954. Two years later he was traded to the Syracuse Nationals. He retired in 1965 from the Philadelphia 76ers (the former Syracuse Nationals), but eventually came back for the 1966–67 NBA season after new head coach Alex Hannum told him he needed a veteran point guard. With 42 games into the season, Costello ripped his Achilles tendon on January 6, 1967 and was replaced by Wali Jones. He did, however, come back to participate in the 1967 playoffs. Costello ended his career for the second and final time in 1968.
Costello began his coaching career at East Syracuse-Minoa High School where he coached the boys varsity basketball team to the state championship for the first time in school history. He took over as head coach of the expansion team Milwaukee Bucks in 1968 and coached them to a league-best 66–16 mark in 1970–71 including a then-NBA record 20-game win streak. They won the championship in the post-season with a 4-0 sweep of the Baltimore Bullets. After a 3–15 start in the 1976–77 season, Costello resigned on November 22, 1976. He was replaced by Don Nelson, who would be Head Coach of the Bucks for 11 seasons.
Costello's last coaching job was at Utica College in the 1980s. The school was making the transition from Division III to Division I as an independent. Costello coached one season in Division III. In his second year in Division I, the Pioneers were the seventh most improved team in the country based on their won-loss record. He retired in 1987.
Costello died on December 13, 2001 after battling cancer for more than a year.
Costello was featured in the book Basketball History in Syracuse, Hoops Roots by author Mark Allen Baker published by The History Press in 2010. The book is an introduction to professional basketball in Syracuse and includes teams like (Vic Hanson's) All-Americans, the Syracuse Reds and the Syracuse Nationals (1946–1963).
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 season in which Costello won an NBA championship|
|*||Led the league|
Head coaching record
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win–loss %|
|Playoffs||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win–loss %|
|Milwaukee||1968–69||82||27||55||.329||7th in Eastern||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Milwaukee||1969–70||82||56||26||.683||2nd in Eastern||10||5||5||.500||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|Milwaukee||1970–71||82||66||16||..805||2nd in Midwest||14||12||2||.857||Won NBA Champions|
|Milwaukee||1971–72||82||63||19||.768||1st in Midwest||7||6||5||.545||Lost in Conf. Finals|
|Milwaukee||1972–73||82||60||22||.732||1st in Midwest||6||2||4||.333||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|Milwaukee||1973–74||82||59||23||.720||1st in Midwest||16||11||5||.688||Lost in NBA Finals|
|Milwaukee||1974–75||82||38||44||.463||4th in Midwest||16||-||-||–||Missed Playoffs|
|Milwaukee||1975–76||82||38||44||.463||1st in Midwest||3||1||2||.333||Lost in First Round|