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Thomas just turned

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:13:45 am    Post subject: Thomas just turned Reply with quote

Brad Stevens’ first opportunity to become an NBA head coach was presented to him by Boston. Same goes for Tyronn Lue Youth T. J. Watt Jersey , with Cleveland. Same goes for Steve Kerr, with Golden State.

Hiring rookies worked out just fine for those clubs.

Phoenix and Atlanta are now hoping to reap the same benefits as the Celtics, Cavaliers and Warriors. The Suns introduced Igor Kokoskov on Monday, the same day that the Hawks welcomed fellow first-time head coach Lloyd Pierce to their franchise. And those moves followed Charlotte last week hiring James Borrego, whose only head-coaching experience was a 30-game interim stint.

There are plenty of established head coaches who don’t have jobs right now. But even with the market flooded with experienced coaches, the Suns, Hawks and Hornets went down roads less-traveled – and there’s still potential for more first-timers in the NBA head-coaching fraternity by the time next season opens.

”Rookie coach, international coach, foreign coach,” said Kokoskov, the first European-born coach to lead an NBA team. ”It really takes courage. It puts not pressure (on me) but expectations to prove that they were right.”

San Antonio assistant Becky Hammon has been on Milwaukee’s radar Womens Mattias Ekholm Jersey , as the Bucks look for their next full-time coach. And whenever she gets hired – many around the league believe it’s a question of when, not if, Hammon gets her chance – she’ll be a first-timer in a whole new category, as the first woman to coach an NBA team.

Boston assistant Jay Larranaga was in the mix for the Charlotte job and will surely get more offers before long. Jerry Stackhouse, who has proven his mettle as the coach of Toronto’s G League club, is now a name that gets attached to just about every opening in the NBA as he waits for his first call to coach in the league where he starred as a player.

There doesn’t seem to interest in big names from the college ranks – like John Calipari or Tom Izzo. Experience still means plenty in the NBA, but timing and fit both seem far more important right now.

”I love challenges,” said Pierce, a longtime NBA assistant, most recently with Philadelphia. ”I think this is going to be a fun challenge. It’s not about the difficulty of the challenge, it’s about the excitement of it and I’m looking forward to the excitement of being here.”

A few of Pierce’s new players were there Monday when he was introduced to Atlanta. So was one of his now-former ones; Philadelphia’s Robert Covington attended to show support. And one of the league’s longtime stars raved about Pierce finally getting his chance.

”ATL Jordan Staal Jersey , y’all got it right,” Miami guard Dwyane Wade tweeted after the Hawks announced their pick.

Borrego has waited a long time to make his own name.

He also waited a long time for a certain someone to learn his name.

Borrego went 10-20 as the interim coach in Orlando after Jacque Vaughn got fired in 2015. The rest of his NBA career has been made up of assistant stints in Orlando, New Orleans and San Antonio – where when he debuted in 2003, Gregg Popovich hired someone whose name he didn’t exactly commit to memory.

”Called me Ray Romano,” Borrego said. ”Everybody loves Raymond, right?”

Popovich had zero games of head-coaching experience in the NBA before he took over in San Antonio. There have been more than 240 coaching moves in the league since, but the Spurs – winners of five titles under Popovich – remain under the same leadership. Erik Spoelstra was a first-timer when he became coach in Miami; he’s got two championship rings.

Brett Brown’s only head-coaching job has been with Philadelphia, Quin Snyder’s only one has been in Utah. They both won a playoff series this season. Billy Donovan had no NBA experience when Oklahoma City hired him three years ago; he’s averaged 50 wins per year since.

Kokoskov likened the change from assistant coach to head coach to the one where co-pilot becomes pilot.

You might think you’re ready, but you never really know until you’re at the controls.

”That’s why you’re coaching,” Kokoskov said. ”That’s the beauty of the job, basically waiting for this moment. You hope it’s going to happen.”

Their times have finally come.

AP Sports Writers Bob Baum in Phoenix and Charles Odum in Atlanta contributed.

Earl Thomas is putting the pressure on the Seattle Seahawks for a new contract Matt Milano Jersey , saying he will not participate in any team activities until his contract situation is resolved.

That includes the upcoming mandatory minicamp.

The three-time All-Pro safety posted a lengthy statement on social media Sunday, saying he wants ”certainty in regards to the upcoming years of my career,” before he takes part in any Seahawks related activities. Thomas is entering the final year of his current deal signed before the 2014 season. He is scheduled to make $8.5 million in base salary in 2018.

Seattle opens its minicamp on Tuesday, and Thomas could face fines of about $84,000 if he skips all three days. Last week, coach Pete Carroll said he expected all players that had been skipping the optional team workouts – most notably Thomas, defensive end Frank Clark and cornerback Byron Maxwell – would be in attendance for the minicamp.

Clearly Thomas has a different idea of where things stand with the team that selected him No. 14 overall in the 2010 draft.

Thomas said after eight seasons he, ”earned the right to have this taken care of as soon as possible.” Thomas has spoken openly of wanting a new deal since the end of last season, when some of his antics gave hints he wanted out of Seattle. In his statement, Thomas said he wants to remain with the Seahawks for the rest of his career.

Toward the end of last season there was some visible dissention. There was a brief rift with linebacker Bobby Wagner, who has become the vocal leader of Seattle’s defense with the departures of Michael Bennett Youth Corey Crawford Jersey , Cliff Avril and Richard Sherman this offseason. And Thomas caught everyone’s attention when he chased down Dallas coach Jason Garrett following Seattle’s win in Dallas and told the Cowboys coach, ”If they kick me to the curb, come get me.”

Seattle made the decision before April’s draft it would move forward with Thomas in 2018. Thomas was the one player under contract that could have landed Seattle a bounty of draft picks, but Carroll and general manager John Schneider held on to the star safety despite the contract uncertainty.

Thomas just turned 29 and was an All-Pro between 2012-14. Thomas had his 2016 season cut short by a broken leg, but he returned last year to play in 14 games with 88 total tackles and two interceptions.

”I’m going to continue to work my craft and put in work so that I can add to the team and give us the best chance to win,” Thomas wrote. ”I hope my teammates understand where I’m coming from. I believe this is the right thing to do.”

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