Jason Quick Reporting Shakeup On Coaching Staff
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 06/13/2010 2:39 PM

    From OregonLive-

     Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan is poised to shake up his staff, and it appears he has targeted longtime NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff to serve as his right-hand man.

    Sources say lead assistant Dean Demopoulos and assistant Joe Prunty will not be retained, which comes after assistant Monty Williams left the team to become the head coach of New Orleans.

    McMillan on Sunday said he is “looking to make changes” with his staff but refused to say which coaches will be replaced. When asked if Demopoulos and Prunty were given two weeks notice earlier this month, McMillan was short.

     “I don’t want to go into that,’’ McMillan said.

    Demopoulos on Sunday said he is under contract until June 30, and has not been told one way or the other on his status for next season. He has coached with McMillan for nine seasons, including four in Seattle.

    Prunty, who just finished his second season in Portland, declined comment.

    McMillan, who will be entering the sixth and final year of his contract, said he  wants to add more head coaching experience to his bench. Bickerstaff, 66,  was an NBA head coach for 14 seasons, including the first four of McMillan’s NBA career in Seattle.

    “I want to add more experience on the sidelines with me,’’ McMillan said. “I’m really happy with my group (of assistants) but we don’t have much with head coaching experience. Bernie is that type of guy I’d be looking for. He would be a guy I would consider.’’

    Earlier this month McMillan refuted a report that Bickerstaff had been added to his staff. He said that statement was made in response to a question of whether he had been hired.

    It is also believed that Bickerstaff’s son, John-Blair, will be added to the Blazers staff. John-Blair has spent the past three seasons as an assistant with the Minnesota Timberwolves after serving two years as an assistant in Charlotte. John-Blair played two seasons of college basketball at Oregon State before transferring to the University of Minnesota.

    The Blazers have two other assistants - Bill Bayno and Kaleb Canales - who have continued this offseason to workout players. Canales for the past three weeks has been between Phoenix working out with Jerryd Bayless, Philadelphia to train Dante Cunningham and Ontario, Calif. for workouts with Jeff Pendergraph. Canales said on Sunday that “I’m a Blazer”.

    Bayno, who is under contract through Aug. 31, 2011 says he will also be back with the Blazers. He is currently training Pendergraph in California after returning from the Euro-Camp in Italy.

    After the season, McMillan said Maurice Lucas would not return to the staff after missing all of the 2009-2010 season battling cancer.

    McMillan said he has a short list of candidates, but can not speak to some of them until July 1, presumably because they too are under contract through June 30.

    It is unclear what has triggered McMillan’s move to shuffle his staff, but it appears the interest shown by several coaches to pursue other jobs was a factor. Demopoulos interviewed for the Atlanta Hawks opening for a head coach and Prunty is believed to be a candidate to be on the new staff of New Jersey head coach Avery Johnson. Prunty served as an assistant in Dallas under Johnson from 2005-2008.

     McMillan said he did assemble his coaches two weeks ago to inform them of his intentions.

    “I told them if they are not happy, if they want more, that there are opportunities out there to pursue,’’ McMillan said. “And I told them that I’m looking at changing the staff.’’

     Bernie Bickerstaff has spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls under Vinny Del Negro, McMillan's college roommate. Del Negro was fired this offseason.

    Bickerstaff was a head coach in Seattle (1985-1990), Denver (1994-1996), Washington (1996-1999) and Charlotte (2004-2007). He was NBA Coach of the Year in 1987 with Seattle.

    Bickerstaff also served as president and general manager of Denver for seven seasons and was executive vice president of basketball operations in Charlotte.

    Looks like those Bickerstaff rumors earlier last week were indeed correct. How do you guys feel about this? Do you think it'll make a positive or negative change this season?
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  1. Bertram
    Posts: 803

    Posted 06/13/2010 10:04 PM

    It's awesome.
    I am a fan of B-Roy and LaMonster!
  1. BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 06/14/2010 6:29 AM

    Bernie is a great hire.  He obviously has a proven track record.  However, I question why his son will be "tagging along".  John-Blair doesn't really strike me as having the resume to be here, on what we all hope is a championship caliber team.  This organization is not a daycare!
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 06/14/2010 10:36 AM

    It looks like Nate probably knew that his young coaching staff was going to move on to bigger and brighter things. Just like the players on the floor, can't hurt to have more experience on the bench. A X's and O's assistant with playoff experience would be a nice addition to the coaching staff. 
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
  1. Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 06/14/2010 10:53 AM

    I think Nate doesnt care for Quick as usual.  Whatever he decides, I trust him.  Understanding that coach Lucas cant come back, I wish him good health. Juwan would be a perfect replacement ..
    I am a fan of scrapping !
  1. RipCityRevival
    Posts: 684

    Posted 06/14/2010 1:35 PM

    There are a lot of directions one could go with this. I feel like this provides an opportunity for Monty Williams to maybe pick up some staff that he is comfortable working with. It may help him adapt to New Orleans. I think this is just part of the growing  process. They have developed the players (phase 1). They had the best staff for player development. Now it is time to develop the offense (phase 2). Now the Blazers are going to put the staff into place to do that. It is nothing against these coaches, they are just specialized in the wrong area for the Blazers at this stage.
    I am a fan of Good basketball, great fans and Rip City!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 06/14/2010 1:49 PM

    From the sounds of the article, Bayno and KK are staying. Prunty appears to be heading to New Jersey. So if Monty wants to pluck someone from the staff it would have to be Dean Demapolus based on these readings.
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