As the off-season continues to fizzle, Detroit Piston head coach Stan Van Gundy seems to putting the final touches on his coaching staff.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Van Gundy has decided to hire Quentin Richardson for a player-development role and he has also elected to hire Malik Allen in a coaching role for next season.
Now, the decision to hire both Richardson and Allen is not that big of surprise, both players had solid NBA careers and both played under head coach Stan Van Gundy at some point during their course of their career.
Let’s start with Richardson. Although many people say Richardson’s best production was when he was with the Clippers, no one can deny that the 6-foot-6 guard/forward, had a solid 13-year career. He averaged 10 points and four rebounds per game during his NBA career, and his career included productive stints in New York, Miami, Phoenix, including two seasons under Van Gundy with the Magic.
Coming into his first season with the Pistons, I really expect that Richardson will play a prominent role in teaching defense and three-point shooting. You have to remember that during his career, Richardson was known as good defender and three-point shooter, so it only makes sense that he would help in those areas. Plus, it helps that Richardson’s skill sets coincide with Van Gundy’s two favorite things, those two things being shooting and defense.
When it comes to Allen, you’re talking about a ten-year veteran of the NBA, who played for Stan Van Gundy both in Miami and Orlando. In fact, Allen’s last season in the NBA was as a member of the Orlando Magic. Although he got injured halfway through the season, Allen has always said that he used that opportunity learned a lot from Stan Van Gundy and the coaching staff.
Joe Dexter of PistonPowered.com, even added that Van Gundy praised Allen in Orlando for his practice ethic and ability to work with Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat. Which makes me think that the Allen will probably assist Van Gundy with the development of Piston big men Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith.
Now, I know that Richardson and Allen have never coached in the NBA before, but overall, I would have to say that Van Gundy is doing a solid job of bringing in former players, who can teach his young players a thing or two the game and give a recent NBA perspective.
Nevertheless, I must admit that I am still a little upset that former Detroit Piston Rasheed Wallace, is not a part of this growing staff. For those who don’t remember, Wallace was let go by Van Gundy back in May.
Now I know it’s fairly common for a new head coach to bring in an entirely new staff that aligns more closely with his vision, while cleaning house in order to instill the feeling of a fresh start. However, I am not of fan of the move to not keep Wallace. During his short time as developmental coach, he was primarily working with big men Monroe and Drummond. If you watched the Pistons at all last season, you know he did a fine job of helping them to learn how to score from the low block and on the perimeter.
Plus I like the fact that Wallace represented the fine line between coach and former player and from what I heard from sources close to the Pistons and from what I saw on the court, the players respected him and his guidance.
This is not to say that the Pistons new assistant coaches aren’t good but Wallace’s enthusiastic on the sidelines and unique coaching will be hard to replace.
Nonetheless, Wallace is now gone, and we have no choice but to focus on the future. If you think the decision to hire Richardson and Allen is a good move, keep in mind that Van Gundy is also considered hiring former Heat point guard Tim Hardaway Sr. to the staff in some capacity.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
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