Tuesday May 12 2009 – 2:05pm Eastern (Toronto, ON)

I wrote this briefly in the “comment” section of one of yesterday’s blogs … and responded to some folks via email as well …

So I figured I’d take a minute to put my thoughts down in an official blog as well.

I know Smitty already mentioned this in his Star blog today, so give him the gold star for getting up before me and getting his blog posted.  He’s a newspaper guy – he’s gotta do that.  I’m a lowly radio schlep :)

Doug and I actually spoke at great length yesterday – while awaiting Jay Triano’s press conference – and we both had the same idea and had heard similar things from our respective sources.

Based on conversations I’ve had and based on what my “gut” is telling me too, here’s how I see Triano’s coaching staff shaping up …

- I think Mike Evans will be gone
- I think Alex English is 50/50 to return
- I think Gord Herbert will be back

Marc Iavaroni is all-but a done deal to join the staff — likely as Triano’s lead assistant. 

If Herbert is back with Iavaroni, the rest of the staff will be determined by how many coaches Triano wants/needs/is given permission to have.  Three or four?

Let’s for argument say that English comes back.  I still believe there’s a need for a “veteran” coach to come in and by the wise eyes and ears for a relatively young coaching staff.  Much like Vinny Del Negro has in Chicago with Del Harris AND Bernie Bickerstaff, I think Triano could use a guy who has “been there, done that”.  A name that comes to mind:  PJ Carlesimo.  Just a thought.

But the most intriguing name out there (not as the “veteran” – but as another piece of the puzzle) is Alvin Williams.  There is legit interest in Williams.

If Al is brought back by the Raps, he would probably fill a duel role of “ambassador” and “assistant coach”.  Perhaps he’d be the kind of assistant – at least for a year or two – that would help out in practice and work out players before a game but sit behind the bench during games and “observe” … as opposed to sitting right up from with the rest of the coaches and being involved in every timeout with the entire coaching staff.  It’d be similar to the role that Eric Hughes currently has as well (officially listed by the team as a “Basketball Development Consultant”). 

From what I’ve heard, Williams would be open to accepting the job and coming back to T.O. if the Raps truly do make him and offer.

And remember, I was the first one to put Alvin’s name out there as a guy the Raptors should be seriously looking at for next season (“I’d love to see a guy like Alvin Williams added to the staff as a 3rd or 4th assistant next year” – March 18 2009 blog).

Enjoy the rest of your day folks.

E. Smith

13 Responses to “What The Staff Could Look Like”
  1. 1.

    Funny I was thinking about P.J. He has been working with Matt Devlin in the playoffs for TNT. I would not mind him being on the staff at all.

    - James Borbath
  2. 2.

    Nice read!

    Out of curiosity, what do you think the timetable is like for putting together the rest of the coaching staff?

    I know it’s better to get it right than to rush things but, at the same time, wouldn’t the team ideally want the situation settled fairly quickly given the upcoming draft (i.e. workouts) and the subsequent summer league?

    - Patrick
  3. 3.

    Bring back Boogie Williams, I do like the sounds of PJ Carlesimo as a veteran coach.

    - Damon
  4. 4.

    Alvin Williams could be as use of help to improve Jose Calerdon for the point guard status. As for ruthless aggression…Charles Oakley & Xavier McDaniels is a MUST if the Raptors need to be rough!!!

    - Steven
  5. 5.

    Bring Alvin Williams back!!
    He will be the NEW eric snow of toronto, and PJ head assistant? How about Avery Johnson?

    - Conrad
  6. 6.

    Why would Raptors management want any of the current coaches back?

    Am I missing something?

    I’m not as cutthroat as you might think, Eric…but I’m still stumped as to what track record of success they can cite as a reason for resigning.

    Isn’t it time the culture of this team be changed for good?

    Don’t you think the players on this team (ie. Chris Bosh) are sick and tired of watching the NBA playoffs (2nd round and on) from home?

    The current coaches seemed completely unable to motivate players to play the type of defensive, passionate, physical basketball required for success.

    Why reward them by asking them back?

    - brento
  7. 7.

    Two words, brento: Mike D’Antoni. If you were a Phoenix fan, you would have fired him after at .344 winning percentage. You would’ve have missed four years of .700 winning percentage on average. Jay had a .385 winning percentage. If you read Eric’s comments, he notes there will likley be 50% turnover – including the most important role of lead assistant. Why do you insist on painting everyone with the same brush? Perhaps two weren’t great, but just maybe one was? **How in the heck can you base an opinion without knowing their skill sets?** Do you think if a company has a bad quarter you should automatically gun every single senior manager?! Or would it be wiser to look at all the assets and remove the weaker ones and then pgrade? Iavaroni, from what I hear, seems like a nice upgrade. But since I’ve never played for him, it’s really impossible for me to have a passionate view.

    - Tom
  8. 8.

    Eric, I’d love to talk playoff basketball with you. I am not sure where we should do that as it’s all about the Raptors over here. I’d like to know about your opinion on certain teams and players, mainly the Lakers.

    - Beburg
  9. 9.

    Tom….I wasn’t referring to not hiring Jay Triano. I’ve already made my thoughts very clear as to the “under the bus” job BC did to Jay this past season — forcing him into a situation where it was impossible to succeed.

    There is no question in my mind that the team would have been better had Triano been given a full preseason, exhibition schedule and regular season to lead the team.

    Yet, BC found it appropriate to fire his 8-9 coach at the worst time possible. It was just one of a long string of BC mess-ups…and I expect to see many more in the coming years…

    I was referring to the assistant coaching group…the same group that has achieved practically nothing over the past three seasons.

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s time for Triano to name his own coaches, not a group of ragtag guys that have done nothing but coach a losing team. Jay should be given every opportunity to stand up for his own beliefs — and not be bossed around by a GM whose track record is paper thin.

    I just want Triano to be given a legitimate opportunity to succeed — unlike what happened to him this past season.

    - brento
  10. 10.

    brento, I’ll repeat:
    “If you read Eric’s comments, he notes there will likely be 50% turnover [with assistants] – including the most important role of lead assistant. Why do you insist on painting everyone with the same brush? Perhaps two weren’t great, but just maybe one was?
    **How in the heck can you base an opinion without knowing their skill sets?**
    Do you think if a company has a bad quarter you should automatically gun every single senior manager?! Or would it be wiser to look at all the assets and remove the weaker ones and then upgrade?”

    - Tom
  11. 11.

    Tom…sorry, I skimmed your email while my two year old was flinging food across the table…missed some of your points.

    Listen…I’m a huge, huge fan of this team. But, I am not a fan of MLSE ownership and Raptors management. This team has won one single, lousy playoff round in it’s entire franchise history. That is completely unacceptable and I am fed up with excuses like injuries and having the wrong coach.

    And I am so completely frustrated watching perennially bad teams like Atlanta and Orlando (along with all of the other bad teams that flew ahead of us this year) charge ahead of our team. It appears our window of opportunity is quickly closing and I am hating the idea of this team, once again, rebuilding.

    Comparing a sporting coaching staff with a business doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Raps have a handful of coaches, and they all work hand in hand. Your analogy would be much more appropriate had I suggested all MLSE staff be fired…marketing, finance, accounting, etc. Obviously, that was not my point.

    My point was that NBA coaches typically choose their own staffs. Some even carry around particular assistant coaches from team to team. And, given the current group of assistant coaches, seemingly, hasn’t influenced the team to play hard, committed basketball, I doubt it is the right group for a fresh start.

    This team has so many glaring issues. And the coaching staff is not exempt from accountability from the team’s awful performance over the past three years (yes, that includes 06/07, when the team lost in the first round…again).

    I wish Jay all the best and hope he has the opportunity to truly lead this team…without Colangelo glaring from the corner of the arena.

    - brento
  12. 12.

    brento, good points – I certainly understand your frustration.
    Cheers,

    - Tom
  13. 13.

    hey this is a very interesting article!

    - KeHoeff
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