Scott Brooks' bench remains officially empty as the Washington Wizards have yet to announce any assistant coach hires. One former Brooks assistant passed on a reunion, but the rumor mill continues churning out other options.
Brooks is "targeting" Tony Brown, Chad Iske and Sidney Lowe as his assistants, according to a report from ESPN's Marc Stein.
* Keely Diven previously wrote a profile on Brown, a former assistant under Doc Rivers and Rick Carlisle who served as an interim head coach for the Brooklyn Nets last season.
* Iske served as associate head coach for the Sacramento Kings last season under George Karl after two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and 14 with the Denver Nuggets. He spent the final six of those seasons with Denver working as Karl's assistant with the primary role of scouting upcoming opponents and assisting Karl with game plan preparation.
* Lowe is surely the most familiar name of three, whether from the D.C. native's star turn at DeMatha or his contributions on North Carolina State's 1983 national championship team or the point guard's 193 games in the NBA or head coaching stints with the Timberwolves and Grizzlies. As an assistant, Lowe spent the last two seasons with the Timberwolves. As a head coach, he finished 79-228.
There is no rush, in theory, for Brooks to figure out his staff, but time is running out. Assistants typically have a leading role with coaching in the Las Vegas Summer League, which begins July 8. While they likely would have no input in discussions for the June 23 NBA Draft, they could be valuable when the Wizards dive into free agency, which begins after the new NBA season tips off on July 1.
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As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.
Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.
"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."
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"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."
Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.
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Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.
"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.
Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.
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On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.
Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.
You can listen to the episode right here:
You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!