The Nets have officially announced the club's assistant coaches for the 2014-2015 season under new coach Lionel Hollins. Paul Westphal, John Welch, Tony Brown, Joe Wolf and Jay Humphries were named assistants while Jim Sann will be the team's assistant coach/advance scout. Westphal is reportedly the lead assistant.
Of the seven, including Hollins, only Welch, Brown and Sann were in the NBA last season. Lawrence Frank, re-assigned by Jason Kidd in December, remains on the team's front office directory as an assistant coach, but was unmentioned in Wednesday's press release.
As Zach Harper of CBS Sports notes, none of the men from Hollins' last stint with the Memphis Grizzlies are on this new staff of assistants.
Westphal brings head coaching experience to the bench, as he was a head coach in Phoenix, Seattle and Sacramento during his 20 plus years as a coach. Westphal has a head coaching record of 318-279. Westphal is also a five-time NBA All Star and won an NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics in 1974. He was let go by the Kings in 2012.
Welch is the only returning coach from last year's Nets team. Welch spent eight seasons under George Karl in Denver while also working with the Memphis Grizzlies before that. Like Westphal, Welch brings over 20 years of coaching experience to the Nets. He was a crucial part of Jason Kidd's staff in Brooklyn last season, often seen drawing up plays in team huddles. Welch and Holllins are both alumni of Rancho High School in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted this week.
Tony Brown most recently worked with the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant but has been all over the NBA map, working with the Clippers, Bucks, Celtics, Raptors, Pistons and Trail Blazers since 1997. Brown was selected in the fourth round of the 1982 draft by the Nets and his best season in the league came in 1986 with New Jersey. He has a reputation for being able to break down opponents' game plans.
Joe Wolf has D-League roots, as he was the head coach and general manager of the Colorado 14ers from 2006-2008, before joining Scott Skiles staff in Milwaukee for five seasons, his last NBA job . Wolf is an assistant for the Ukrainian national team under Mike Fratello. Wolf spent four years at North Carolina under Hall of Fame head coach Dean Smith. His teammates included Michael Jordan.
Jay Humphries has spent 13 years in the NBA, D-League and overseas. Humphries has coached in the Chinese Basketball Association along with the Korean Basketball League before joining Mike D'Antoni's staff in Phoenix where he stayed for one season. After that, he took the head coaching job for the Reno Bighorns, working there from 2008 to 2010. Humphries also has NBA playing experience, 11 seasons after being drafted by the Suns in 1984.
Jim Sann is working with the Nets for the second time in his career after being an assistant coach for the team between 2005-2010. Sann has also worked with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and Toronto Raptors. Sann began his basketball career with the New York Knicks, and for 11 years climbed the ranks of the club, eventaully becoming the director of basketball administration.
- Brooklyn Nets Annouce Coaching Staff - Brooklyn Nets
- Nets announce coaching staff - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Brooklyn Nets name assistant staff for coach Lionel Hollins - Zach Harper - CBS Sports
- Nets’ Hollins has his staff in place - John Torenli - Brooklyn Daily Eagle
UNC's Joe Wolf added to Brooklyn Nets Coaching Staff - John Woodcock - Old North Banter