Tag: Del Harris

Del Harris

Del Harris to coach Mavericks D-League affiliate

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The Dallas Mavericks keep bringing in the big names to coach their D-League affiliate the Texas Legends.

Last season it was the first woman coach in the league, Nancy Lieberman. She decided to move up to the front office, so former NBA coach of the year Del Harris will step in, the team announced, the Dallas Morning News reports (Marc Stein of ESPN was first).

Harris, now 74, won 54.9 percent of his games in 14 years as a head coach in the NBA, was the 1995 Coach of the Year with the Lakers and has spent the last decade as an assistant coach for several NBA teams (including the Mavericks).

For a young team of players looking for a call up to the NBA, he can show them the path. If only there was an NBA season to be called up to. That said, Harris will have their attention. This is a good hire.

The Texans had tried to make a deal with deposed Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, but that fell apart over money.

Yes, there will be a D-League season no matter what happens with the NBA lockout. However, with the potential of no call-ups to the NBA some of the top D-League talent has already signed in Europe.

Hurt feelings sparked Del Harris' departure from New Jersey

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Del Harris has a long and storied career as a coach in the NBA. He has a career win percentage of 54.9% in over 1,000 games as a head coach in the pros, not to mention his years of experience as a top assistant.

So when New Jersey Nets’ President Rod Thorn reportedly scoffed at the notion of the then-Nets’ assistant Harris potentially taking over the head coaching job next year, it’s easy to understand why Harris up and left at the earliest opportunity. From Dave D’Alessandro of the Star-Ledger:

[Harris’ agent, Warren] LeGarie, one of the game’s heaviest hitters, told Thorn the Nets would
be better off letting Harris take over and moving Kiki Vandeweghe back
to the front office, if only to begin preparation for 2010-11.

to one of the officials, Thorn interrupted LeGarie with this door-slam:
“Hold it right there,” he said. “All due respect, he will not be the
next head coach here. So if he has any delusions about that, you should
let him know it’s not going to happen.”

On one hand, you have to appreciate Thorn’s candor; he had no intention of ushering Harris into the head gig, and he made that perfectly clear.

Maybe a bit too clear. Kiki Vandeweghe brought in Harris, his friend from their time spent together on the sideline in Dallas, as a safety net. That much is certain. But did Thorn have to be quite so dismissive of Harris’ abilities as a coach? I see no harm in the Nets leaving their options open for the coaching search to come, which would allow them the opportunity to explore other possible candidates while leaving the door open for Harris. New Jersey could do much worse than have Del as the man at the head of the bench, and his tremendous amount of NBA coaching experience would have made him a nice mentor for the stable of young talent on the Nets’ roster.

But alas, Rod Thorn wasn’t shy about speaking his mind, and as such he’s chased Del Harris all the way back home to Texas. Harris is expected to re-join the new, unnamed D-League team in Frisco, TX as the general manager.