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Ronald Nored looking to bring “The Butler Way” to Long Island


Even before the Nets put out a press release on the hiring of Kenny Atkinson as head coach, they quietly announced that Ronald Nored, then all of 25 years old, would be the first coach of the Long Island Nets.

Nored’s hiring was a bit unorthodox, starting with his youth. His resume, short as it was, included a stint as a head coach at a high school, Brownsburg in Indiana, where his friend and college teammate Gordon Hayward had played; a skills development gig in Boston with the Celtics; an assistant coaching job with the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s D-League affiliate, and two college jobs, as an assistant at South Alabama and as an assistant at Northern Kentucky University.

So why did Sean Marks hire him? Because Ronald Nored had a great reputation as a player and coach under Brad Stevens, the brains in Boston. He is the first bud on the Stevens coaching tree. He was Stevens’ point guard the two years the Butler Bulldogs made it to the NCAA Finals, a minimally skilled offensive player but a bulldog (pun intended) on D.

As Kevin Armstrong writes in Sunday’s Daily News, Nored is bringing “The Butler Way” to the Nets and specifically to their development process.

“He wants his guys to get better and move on from here, to not be D-League players for eight years,” said Trajan Langdon, the Nets’ assistant general manager (and Long Island’s GM) who hired Nored.

You could say he’s had some success. After all, the rookie of the month, Yogi Ferrell, was a project. Nored helped him move from undrafted Indiana point guard through a number of different assignments with the Nets to a 10-day deal with Dallas and now some success. Of late, he’s helped two late acquisitions, R.J. Hunter and Cliff Alexander, return to prospect status. Trahson Butler is now an NBA possibility.

He’s still learning, and still admits it.

“One thing I’ve been working on is: when do you push and when do you pull guys? When do you really get after them and when do you pat them on the back?” Nored told Armstrong during a break in Long Island’s recent game, a loss, vs. the Northern Arizona Suns. “It’s a battle that I am still figuring out now. A little pushing is better than a little pulling.”

Nored is a bit hamstrung this season. Only four of the Long Island home games have been open to the public. For the rest, it’s team staff, some scouts and maybe some media.

But the Nets like what they see in him, think he can develop players ... and that unorthodox resume’ could help. Long Island won’t have a winning season, won’t make the playoffs. The Record will depend more on how the players he’s worked with do going forward, with maybe a couple of them showing up on the Nets roster next season.