Monty Williams has been away from the Thunder after the death of his wife.
This week, Oklahoma City lost another assistant coach for a while.
The Oklahoma City Thunder announced that assistant coach Maurice Cheeks underwent successful hip surgery today. Cheeks will return to the team in a week for practices and meetings, and will be back on the Thunder bench for games in approximately six weeks.
Oklahoma City Blue Head Coach Mark Daigneault will join Thunder Head Coach Billy Donovan’s staff as an assistant for the remainder of the season. Blue assistant coach Jarell Christian will assume Daigneault’s role with the Blue for the rest of their 2015-16 campaign.
The emotional and physical health of these coaches should obviously come first, but the Thunder could miss them in the interim.
Having two former NBA head coaches – Williams with the Pelicans and Cheeks with the Pistons, 76ers and Trail Blazers – on his staff likely aided Billy Donovan’s transition to the NBA. Now, the former Florida coach will be a bit more on his own.
At least he has had a chance to get his feet wet in the pros first. And at least it appears likely he’ll have a full staff in time to gear up for the playoffs.