There are a few things the Portland Trail Blazers really need this offseason. And one of those things is, something they have not had in quite a while.
A big man’s coach. A big man’s coach who, can work with Jusuf Nurkic more so, and whoever will be Nurkic’s backup going forward, as well as the power forwards.
The last coach of this type Portland had was Kim Hughes. However, Hughes was let go from the team after, he allegedly made comments about LaMarcus Aldridge‘s future with the team.
So who could be this coach working with the Blazers centers and power forwards? Whoever this particular coach/mentor will be, he/she will likely be hired by whoever the next head coach will be. Until, here are some possible candidates who could nicely fill that role, and might know a thing or two about the mentioned positions.
He’s not “Your” vydas, he’s not “My” vydas, he’s Arvydas. Remember him? Lithuanian center Arvydas Sabonis was drafted by Portland in the 1986 draft. Played for the Blazers from, 1995-2001 and 2002-2003. The 7’3 center averaged 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in his years with the Trail Blazers and is still a fan favorite. Sabonis is also a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. His son Domantas currently plays for the Indiana Pacers.
Buck Williams was an assistant on Nate McMillan’s bench with Portland for two seasons, working with players like Joel Przybilla, Aldridge, Marcus Camby, and more. Played for Portland from, 1989-1996 and 17 seasons as a power forward. Williams averaged 12.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per game, with the Blazers, New Jersey, and New York.
Joel Przybilla could teach and work with the players at those positions. He averaged 3.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game in 15 seasons, 8 while wearing a Portland jersey. Like Sabonis, another fan favorite who got the job done as a player and quite likely as a coach.
Who knows if Shaquille O’Neal would want to leave his broadcasting job with TNT? O’Neal could really help some of Portland’s big men, learn some defense, knock some of their opponents down without getting called for it. The guy is Shaquille O’Neal after all. The only thing, just don’t let him teach the players how to shoot a free throw. Remember the “Hack a Shaq” from the late ’90s, early 2000’s? The strategy may or may not have paid off with his, 52.7% from the free-throw line. Depending on who you ask.
Okay, this is nothing to be taken seriously here. It’s all in fun. Greg Oden could be looking to, get back into the NBA and an assistant gig on the bench of, where it all started for him. Some say, he owes Portland for his short time, injury-prone years there. Again, this is meant to draw a laugh or a smile. Oden is going to play in the Big 3 League, 3 on 3 basketball, this summer.
Other possibilities, Camby, Jermaine O’Neal, Chris Dudley, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Whatever happens this offseason, the Blazers need to focus on and improve their defense. This past season, Portland ranked 29th out of 30th in defense, and a big man, a defensive-minded coach could help with that problem.