Tag: Assistant Coaches

NHL Season Cancelled

Scouts, other basketball staff already feeling lockout pain


Jason Smith, the backup forward for the New Orleans Hornets, said that he was told when he came into the league in 2007 there might be a lockout coming this summer — four years ago there were thoughts this could get ugly. Smith is not highly paid by NBA standards (he made $2.1 million last season) but he said players knew what was coming and most have put money aside to be ready for a potentially long lockout.

Which you can do if you are “only” making $2.1 million, but what if you make a real entry-level salary and work for a team?

For example, the Lakers laid off about 20 scouts, video staff and the like, according to a story on ESPN Los Angeles (a story largely about 24-year-Laker front office guy Ronnie Lester being let go). The guys in the team video room, the advanced scouts, European scouts and more, the guys who make a salary you and I fully relate to and now have no job — and don’t know if and when they will get hired back. This is not just the Lakers (who also did some staff house cleaning in the post Phil Jackson era), this is all across the league.

They’ve been told little by the team, except that employees whose contracts expire on or after June 30 would not have their contracts renewed, and their jobs may or may not open up again down the line.

“I’m not worried about myself, I’m worried about the other people on our staff that are really good and have young families and mortgages,” Lester said. “I’ll land on my feet, but those guys who aren’t as established, I think they’re in a little trouble.”

Other teams have seriously scaled back salaries of staff until a resolution is reached between the owners and players. It makes business sense, you don’t want to pay all these people when they have nothing to do. But it hurts.

But this is just the start of the pain that this lockout is going to cause people who have nothing to do with it. If games are missed it’s guy who owns the pub across the street from the arena (and his bartender), the workers at the arena who sell concessions and jerseys, team marketing staffs, and countless other people who are going to be hurt while the owners and players figure out how to divide up the fans money between them.

Patrick Ewing may get his head coaching shot in Charlotte

Orlando Magic v San Antonio Spurs

Right next to Paul Silas’ name as the head coach in Charlotte is the word “interim.” And so long as that is there the speculation on who gets the job full time will take place.

Clearly, Silas gets first crack. Turn the ship around enough this season and he gets to stay on as captain. The Bobcats re 2-0 under him but that is the ultimate small sample size so we’ll reserve judgment.

If not Silas, then who? How about Patrick Ewing, who is in the mix according to the New York Post.

Asked if Charlotte had called him, Ewing smiled and said, “They might have.”

When pressed, Ewing said, “He might have been. I talk to Michael all the time. There definitely was a phone call. It depends on what we talked about.”

If nothing else, Ewing has learned how to avoid a question like a head coach.

He has served for years as an assistant with the Magic. If the Bobcats do not go with Silas, Ewing needs to be considered. Same with the other openings sure to come up around the league. Outside of being the tallest head coach in the league it’s hard to predict just how good he will be, but he has earned the chance to find out.

Celtics' coaching staff will look different after Doc


The Celtics lost their best assistant coach to Chicago this summer as Tom Thibodeau was finally offered a head coaching gig. But now word comes from Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe that assistant Clifford Ray will also not be returning. The report has not been verified by the Celitcs at this time.

Rivers has really become one of the best coaches in the league over the past three years. In all honesty, his best work in 2008 when the Celtics won the championship was in the motivational side, not the X’s and O’s side, which was questionable at times. But since then, he’s consistently outcoached his opponents, as well as keeping up the rabble-rousing speeches.

But losing his defensive genius and another top coach may cause difficulties for the staff. Granted the Celtics don’t need much coaching at this point, since the Big 3 are essentially coaches in their own right. But it’s still something to keep an eye on if focus, details, or different coaching-related elements seem to be missing early on.