May 14

Tibbetts Follows Trend In Portland Coaching Hires

By caseyholdahl Posted in: damianlillard

The Trail Blazers wasted no time hiring a new assistant to replace Kaleb Canales, who parted with the team last week to join Rick Carlise's staff in Dallas. Today, the team has announced that Nate Tibbetts, who most recently served as an assistant in Cleveland, will join the Trail Blazers as an assistant.

"(Tibbetts) possesses a strong work ethic and a passion for coaching," Stotts said in a statement. "He has been instrumental in developing young players in the D-League and in the NBA. Additionally, his successful head coaching experience in the D-League provides a unique ability, which will complement our current staff."

One of the young players Tibbetts has helped develop is Cavs All-Star and 2011-12 Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving, who said Tibbetts, "told me what to do and what not to do every single day." One would imagine Tibbetts' experience working with Irving will be invaluable when working with Damian Lillard, who has drawn comparisons to Irving by virtue of being a Rookie of the Year-winning point guard. Then again, there's no shortage of youth on Portland's roster, so it's likely that Tibbetts ends up working with most, if not all, of the less veteran players.

He joins Jay Triano, David Vanterpool, Kim Hughes and Dale Osbourne on Portland's staff.

Tibbetts had recently interviewed for the head coaching vacancy with the Charlotte Bobcats after being retained by the Cavs as an assistant even after then-head coach Byron Scott was fired at the end of the 2012-13 season. Prior to joining the Cavs, Tibbetts served for two seasons as the head coach of the Tulsa 66ers and was, coincidentally enough, replaced by Osbourne, who he now joins on Portland's bench.

Tibbetts joins Osbourne and Vanterpool as recent coaching hires who have experience working in the Oklahoma City Thunder's organization (the 66ers are Oklahoma City's D-League affiliate and Vanterpool worked in the Thunder front office before joining the Trail Blazers as an assistant coach). All three have extensive and recent experience working with young players, which is probably no coincidence.


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