Jerry Stackhouse

Raptors Notes: Leonard, Green, Gasol, Siakam

Last summer’s trade that landed Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green from the Spurs not only shook up the Raptors‘ roster, it brought two players with championship experience to a franchise that didn’t have any, writes Steve Popper of Newsday.

Leonard and Green, who will both be free agents this summer, were teammates on San Antonio’s title-winning team in 2014. They helped to calm any nerves in Game 1 by scoring the Raptors’ first six points.

“I didn’t notice that until you mentioned it to me,” Green said. “We got out running, able to run our offense how we’ve been doing most of the year. When we’re in our transition that’s when we’re at our best. [It’s] very important, especially playing against three-time, four-time, whatever champions. So many times they’ve been [to the Finals]. You’ve got to protect home court. It’s what we fought for all year. Can’t give them any type of life or confidence and keep taking advantage of the advantage that we have.”

There’s more tonight from Toronto:

  • Marc Gasol is making his first NBA Finals appearance after nearly a decade in Memphis, but he tells Jim Slater of Yahoo Sports that he’s not in awe of the experience. “My brain doesn’t function that way,” Gasol said. “You’re playing basketball like you did your whole life and it’s the most fun. You got to stay poised during the whole game so your brain can’t go anywhere else but every possession.”
  • Pascal Siakam, the hero of Game 1 with a 32-point performance, has a background unlike any other NBA player’s, notes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Siakam was introduced to the game as a teenager in his native Cameroon when he attended a Basketball Without Borders camp to visit his sister, whom he hadn’t seen in five years. “I didn’t even know if I really dreamed of being at this level,” Siakam said. “I couldn’t even think about this moment because it wasn’t reachable for me.”
  • Former Raptors assistant and G League head coach Jerry Stackhouse said he felt like a “proud papa” watching Siakam’s outburst, relays Frank Isola of The Athletic. Stackhouse, who accepted a job at Vanderbilt in April, also worked closely with Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell, who have played important roles in Toronto’s playoff run. “It’s a good advertisement for the league,” Stackhouse said. “That’s what the development league is supposed to do. Those were three guys with a lot of pride who all worked hard. They earned it.”

Jerry Stackhouse Turned Down NBA Interviews

Jerry Stackhouse turned down interviews with two unnamed NBA teams before taking the Vanderbilt head coaching job, he said during his introductory press conference, as relayed by Adam Sparks of the Nashville Tennessean.

Stackhouse served as an assistant coach with the Grizzlies this season.

“I can’t say there are too many college situations that I was looking to go to with my trajectory being what it was in the NBA,” Stackhouse said. “I was on pace to sit down and talk about a head coaching job in the NBA this offseason already with a couple of teams. I had those interviews lined up.”

Stackhouse replaced Bryce Drew, who was fired after the season. Vanderbilt went winless in 18 Southeastern Conference games.

Stackhouse had his share of interviews last summer for NBA head coaching openings. He was a candidate for the Charlotte, New York and Toronto jobs. He doesn’t have college coaching experience but has been in the professional ranks since retiring as a player after 18 years in the league. He was an assistant under Dwane Casey with the Raptors and coached their G League affiliate, Raptors 905, to two championship finals.

Vanderbilt’s athletic director Malcolm Turner, who like Stackhouse is a North Carolina alum, is the former president of the G League. Turner convinced him to take over the downtrodden program.

“I’m ready to anchor down,” Stackhouse said. “As a head coach, I want to teach. It doesn’t matter at what level that I got in. People felt like I was on a trajectory in the NBA. But when I had an opportunity to come here and meet with (Turner), it was an opportunity that I couldn’t resist.”

Vanderbilt Hiring Jerry Stackhouse As Head Coach

APRIL 5: Stackhouse has agreed to become the new Vanderbilt head coach, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that the two sides reached an agreement on a six-year contract.

APRIL 1: Grizzlies assistant coach Jerry Stackhouse is negotiating a contract to become Vanderbilt’s head coach, Jon Rothstein of SI.com tweets.

Nothing has been finalized but all indications are that Stackhouse will take over the Commodores’ program. Stackhouse would replace Bryce Drew, who was fired after the season. Vanderbilt went winless in 18 Southeastern Conference games.

Stackhouse joined Memphis’ staff last summer after interviewing for the head coaching jobs at Charlotte, New York and Toronto. He doesn’t have college coaching experience but has been in the professional ranks since retiring as a player after 18 years in the league. He was an assistant under Dwane Casey with the Raptors and coached their G League affiliate, Raptors 905, to two championship finals.

Vanderbilt’s athletic director Malcolm Turner is the former president of the G League.

Hornets assistant Ronald Nored was also a candidate for the Commodores’ job, Evan Daniels of 247Sports tweets.

Coaching Moves: Sixers, Raptors, Pelicans, Suns

 The Sixers have named Connor Johnson as their G League coach, the team announced in a press release. Johnson will coach the Delaware Blue Coats after working the past four seasons working with the 76ers coaching staff. The newly-named Blue Coats will play in the new 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington. Johnson was Philadelphia’s director of player development and coaching administration last season.
In other coaching-related news around the league:
  • The Raptors were denied permission from the Pelicans to hire Chris Finch as an assistant coach, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. New Raptors coach Nick Nurse was an assistant under Finch on Great Britain’s Olympic team in 2012 and was hoping to bring his well-regarded knowledge of offensive schemes to Toronto, Stein adds in another tweet.
  • The Pelicans did lose one of their assistants as Jamelle McMillan, son of Pacers coach Nate McMillan, joined Igor Kokoskov’s staff with the Suns, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets. The younger McMillan is just 29 years old.
  • The Raptors hired Jama Mahlalela as head coach of their NBA G League affiliate, Raptors 905, the team’s media relations department tweets. Mahlalela, who has five years of experience as an NBA assistant, replaces Jerry Stackhouse. Stackhouse, who led the team to consecutive G League Finals, joined the Grizzlies’ staff after being interviewed for multiple NBA head coaching jobs.

Southwest Rumors: Potapenko, Cousins, Mavs Draft, Rockets

Vitaly Potapenko and Greg Buckner are among the assistants named to J.B. Bickerstaff’s staff with the Grizzlies, according to a team press release. Potapenko had been the Cavaliers’ assistant director of player development since 2013, while Buckner is a holdover from last season’s staff. As previously announced, Jerry Stackhouse will also be a top assistant for Bickerstaff. Stackhouse, who coached the Raptors’ G League the past two seasons, interviewed for several head coaching jobs. Chad Forcier, an assistant under Frank Vogel with the Magic the last two seasons, has also joined the staff along with Nick Van Exel and Adam Mazarei.

In other developments around the Southwest Division:

  • DeMarcus Cousins will most likely stay put with the Pelicans but there are three other Western Conference teams where the big man would be a good fit, HoopsHype tweets. The Mavericks, Lakers and Spurs are the most likely landing spots for Cousins if he leaves New Orleans, HoopsHype adds.
  • A draft night trade with the Bulls might make sense for the Mavericks, Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News speculates. Dallas owns the No. 5 pick with Chicago slotted at No. 7. If Michael Porter Jr. and Trae Young go a little higher than anticipated, the Mavs could move down and either Mohamed Bamba, Wendell Carter or Jaren Jackson would still be on the board, Cowlishaw points out.
  • Rockets fans should lower their expectations of potentially landing LeBron James or Paul George and simply hope GM Daryl Morey can upgrade a  luxury-tax team with precious few young assets, Sean Deveney of Sports Illustrated opines. Giving Chris Paul a max contract will be a tough pill but one they’ll have to swallow to remain a prime contender, Deveney adds.

Jerry Stackhouse To Join Grizzlies’ Staff

Former G League Coach of the Year Jerry Stackhouse has agreed to become an assistant in Memphis, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Stackhouse served as an assistant with the Raptors in 2015/16 before taking over as the head coach of the organization’s G League affiliate, Raptors 905, and leading it to the 2017 title. He has been mentioned as a candidate for numerous NBA head coaching positions and interviewed this year for vacancies in Charlotte, New York and Toronto.

He is the second new addition to the staff of J.B. Bickerstaff, who coached the Grizzlies for almost all of last season on an interim basis. Memphis also hired former Magic assistant Chad Forcier.

Before launching his coaching career, Stackhouse played 18 seasons in the NBA and twice made the All-Star team.

Magic Notes: Clifford, Stackhouse, Sampson

The Magic officially decided on their new head coach this week, announcing the hiring of former Hornets coach Steve Clifford on Wednesday. Clifford reportedly agreed to a four-year contract to become Frank Vogel‘s replacement in Orlando.

As Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel details, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and general manager John Hammond – who interviewed Clifford for the Bucks’ job in Milwaukee back in 2013 – met with him twice this time around. The first of those meetings happened on May 16, with the second taking place on May 24. Weltman and Hammond liked what they heard in those sessions, and their deal with Clifford reflects that — the final year isn’t a team option, sources tell Robbins.

“I’m not betting on something that I don’t know,” Weltman said on Wednesday. “Steve Clifford has proven himself to be an elite-level NBA coach in addition to having great personal skills, player-development abilities [and] all the organizational bullet points that we had hoped to address.”

Here’s more on the Magic’s new coach and the search that led the team to him:

  • Despite being rumored to have significant interest in Raptors 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse, the Magic never interviewed Stackhouse, sources tell Robbins.
  • University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, cited as a Magic candidate, confirmed that he met with the club “multiple times,” as Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston relays. However, Sampson said that he’ll remain at his current job with the University of Houston.
  • Before hiring Clifford, the Magic made plays for “some big fish in the collegiate ranks,” according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). One of those targets was presumably Tom Izzo, as the Michigan State head coach was linked to Orlando last week.
  • One possible factor in the Magic’s decision to hire Clifford? His impressive work in games against Orlando. As Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer notes, Clifford’s Hornets had defeated the Magic 11 times in a row prior to his ouster in Charlotte.

Raptors Interview Messina, Udoka For Head Coach Job

The Raptors officially interviewed Spurs assistant coaches Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka for the team’s vacant head coaching position, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Messia interviewed on Thursday while Udoka met with the Raptors on Friday, Wojnarowski notes.

With several teams seeking to fill head coaching vacancies, Messina and Udoka have been popular names this summer.

Messina interviewed with the Bucks and Hornets before those teams hired Mike Budenholzer and James Borrego, respectively. Messina received a second interview with Milwaukee before the team decided on Budenholzer. Long considered one of the top international coaches in basketball, the 58-year-old has served as an assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio the past four seasons. Messina stepped up to coach the Spurs for Game 3-5 during the first round of the playoffs after Popovich’s wife, Erin, passed away.

As for Udoka, he has interviewed with the Magic and Hornets about their openings. Udoka has been an assistant to Popovich the past six years after he finished his playing career with the Spurs in 2010/11. Udoka played seven NBA seasons, spending time with the Trail Blazers, Kings, Knicks and Lakers.

The Raptors fired Dwane Casey after another early postseason exit, despite finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference. Casey, who was named Coach of the Year by his fellow coaches after his dismissal, is also one of three finalists for the official award. Budenholzer was reportedly a top target for the Raptors before he accepted the Bucks job.

Toronto recently interviewed Jerry Stackhouse –– a former assistant to Casey — who coached the organization’s G League squad this season. Stackhouse was one of three internal candidates considered by the Raptors as Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian have also interviewed for the job.

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Raptors Interview Jerry Stackhouse For Coaching Job

The Raptors interviewed their G League head coach, Jerry Stackhouse, for their head coaching job last week in Chicago, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets.

Familiarity could work in Stackhouse’s favor. He moved into a coaching two years after he retired in 2013, serving as an assistant to former coach Dwane Casey. He took over the head coaching job with Raptors 905 prior to the 2016-17 season and guided them to a championship. They lost in the finals to Austin this past season.

The Raptors were reportedly interested in hiring ex-Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer before he selected the Bucks. Stackhouse is just one of three in-house candidates being considered as Casey’s replacement. Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian also fall into that category.

Stackhouse is also considered a candidate for the Pistons’ head coaching position. Detroit was one of the teams Stackhouse played for during his long NBA career. He was one of many candidates interviewed by the Knicks before they chose former Grizzlies head man David Fizdale.

Budenholzer Was First Choice In Toronto?

Mike Budenholzer, who agreed tonight to be the Bucks’ next head coach, was also the Raptors’ top choice, tweets Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet. Budenholzer met with Toronto’s front office on Monday, but no job offer was extended, relays ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Assistant coach Nick Nurse appears to be the current front-runner for the Raptors’ job, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). Nurse has spent the past five seasons as part of former coach Dwane Casey’s staff.

Lewenberg describes him as a “forward, innovative thinker,” which is an important quality to the Toronto front office (Twitter link). He adds that there’s a good chance someone else will hire Nurse if the Raptors don’t make him their head coach.

Toronto seems very focused on internal candidates, Lewenberg notes, as fellow assistant Rex Kalamian is being considered for the opening, along with Jerry Stackhouse, head coach of Raptors 905 in the G League (Twitter link). Other than Budenholzer, no one from outside the organization has interviewed for the position.

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