After bringing on Quentin Richardson in as the director of player development and hiring Malik Allen as an assistant coach. The Detroit Pistons have decided to hire former NBA star Tim Hardaway as an assistant coach, the Pistons announced the news Thursday.
“We are pleased to announce the addition of some quality people to our coaching and basketball operations staffs and the Detroit Pistons Organization,” Van Gundy said. “These are all highly-qualified individuals who bring a wide range of experience and will all play very important roles in helping to shape our vision.”
“Tim Hardaway informed us that he has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Detroit Pistons. [Owner] Micky [Arison] and I, and the entire organization, couldn’t be more thrilled for Tim as he embarks on the next chapter of his basketball career,” Miami Heat team president Pat Riley said. “Tim was one of the cornerstones of this franchise for six seasons; providing excitement to fans in Miami and all over the country with his dazzling moves and killer crossover, and he has been a franchise pillar since the day he arrived in Miami. But most of all, he has been an important figure in the South Florida community.”
Hardaway was originally hired by the Miami Heat in June 2010 as their community and corporate liaison as well as scout. Now he will be moving to the bench in support of his former assistant coach Stan Van Gundy, who was also the head coach in Miami from 2003 to 2005.
A 13-year NBA veteran, Hardaway averaged 17 points, eight assists, three rebounds and one steals in 867 career games with Golden State, Miami, Dallas, Denver and Indiana. A five-time NBA All-Star, Hardaway also earned All-NBA honors five times. If that’s not enough, Hardaway also is the father of former Michigan standout Tim Hardaway Jr., who plays for the New York Knicks.
I don’t know about you but I think this a great hire. For starters, Hardaway, is one of the best point guards to ever come out of Chicago but more importantly, coming into his job with the Pistons, Hardaway will prove to be a great teacher and mentor to the young guards of the Pistons, which is definitely something the Pistons need.
Think about it, you have point guard Brandon Jennings, who can score at a high level but continues to be inconsistent in leading and creating for others. Coming in, I expect that Hardaway could be a great teacher to Jennings. HardAway could help him to structure his game and he could help him to improve his jump shot, seeing that during his time with the Heat, Hardaway became the all-time franchise leader in 3-point field goals made. Plus, I really like the fact that Hardaway is no-pushover, so he isn’t going to take Jennings being disrespectful or unresponsive anymore than Vn Gundy will, which is what Jennings needs.
Keep in mind that Hardaway’s teaching doesn’t stop at Jennings. Although D.J. Augustin has established himself as young veteran, who can provide steady scoring off the bench and hit big shots at key moments in the game. It doesn’t change the fact that Hardaway could help to bring out the potential of the former Chicago Bull, especially since he is a viable option if Jennings doesn’t step up.
I also expect that Hardaway could have a great impact on the some of the younger guards like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Spencer Dinwiddie.
When it comes to Caldwell-Pope, I feel can become an elite defender and shooter for the Pistons. Then when it comes to rookie 6-foot-6 guard Spencer Dinwiddie, I think is capable of playing either guard position and just as capable of replacing Jennings as the starting point guard if he is developed right. Then you add with the fact that HardSway can help develop other Piston guards like Jodie Meeks and Will Bynum, it becomes very clear why Van Gundy hired Hardaway.
Although there is no doubt that Hardaway will bring great experience and knowledge of the game, I really like the fact that he will bring that great Chicago toughness, which is something that the current Pistons guards lack.
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.
The only thing that still bugs me about the coaching staff is the fact that former Detroit Piston Rasheed Wallace, is no longer 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 and although Wallace is not on the staff, I honestly like what Van Gundy is bringing in.
In other Piston news, the Pistons also hired Jeff Nix as an assistant general manager. Jon Ishop was named director of sports medicine and Anthony Harvey was hired as strength and conditioning coach.
Nix brings a wealth of basketball experience both at the professional and collegiate levels. He spent 15 years in the New York Knicks organization serving as assistant coach (1992-2000), assistant general manager (2000-2005) and director of scouting (2005-2007). He was a key member of the Knicks front office staff when the team won two Eastern Conference titles in 1994 and 1999. Nix spent the last two-plus seasons as director of basketball operations for the Wake Forest University Men’s basketball team. He’s held assistant coaching positions with Canisius College, St. Francis University, Loyola College, Xavier University and University of Notre Dame. Nix played basketball at Canisius College and graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration and a Master’s in Sports Administration.
Ishop comes to the Pistons from the New Orleans Pelicans where he spent the last four seasons as director of sports medicine/head athletic trainer. With the Pelicans, Ishop oversaw healthcare, prevention and rehabilitation of injuries and daily training room operations. Prior to the Pelicans, Ishop served as an assistant athletic trainer with the NFL’s Houston Texans for eight seasons. A certified athletic trainer, he is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Performance Enhancement Specialist, Graston Technique Certified, a kinesiotape practitioner and a licensed massage therapist. Ishop received his Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin and his master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Houston.
Harvey spent the last two seasons as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Orlando Magic. Previously, he worked at Florida A&M University from 2005-12 serving as a senior personal trainer, interim director of strength and conditioning and finally as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Harvey earned his BS in Health Science Pre-Physical Therapy at Florida A&M.
The Pistons also announced that Arnie Kander will remain as the team’s physical therapist, overseeing injury prevention and recovery, while Mike Abdenour will serve in a newly created administrative role as Director of Team Operations.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.