Highlighting former Portland Trail Blazers currently coaching in the NBA

A lot of times former NBA players go into coaching after retirement. The Portland Trail Blazers have had several such players, including, Rick Adelman who played for Portland from 1970-1973, coached from 1983-2014, including as an assistant with the Blazers, and is now in the NBA Hall-of-Fame as a coach.

Ime Udoka, Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, NBA, coach

Ime Udoka, Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, NBA, coach (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Highlighting former Portland Trail Blazers who are now coaching in the NBA

This past NBA season, there were nine assistants and two head coaches who at one point wore Portland’s red, black and white.

Michael Ruffin:
Ruffin played for the Blazers in 2008, appearing in eleven games. In those games, Ruffin, who was traded to Portland for Ike Diogu from the Sacramento Kings, averaged 0.5 points and 1.0 rebounds. Ruffin is currently an assistant with the Phoenix Suns.

Mark Bryant:
Bryant was Portland’s first-round pick in the 1988 draft (21st overall). The power forward out of Seton Hall was on the Blazers roster from 1988 to 1995. He was part of the teams that went to the Finals in 1990 and 1992. After Portland, Bryant went on to play for Houston, Phoenix, Cleveland, Dallas, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Denver, and Boston. He has been on Phoenix’s bench assisting Monty Williams since 2019.

Jarrett Jack:
Jack was acquired by Portland on draft night 2005 for the 27th pick that the Blazers had used on Linas Kleiza and the 35th pick (Ricky Sánchez) in a trade with the Denver Nuggets. Jack was with the Blazers from 2005-to 2008. He would go on to play with several other clubs before retiring in 2018. Like Ruffin and Bryant, Jack assists the same Phoenix team.

Jarron Collins:
The 6’11” Collins played his final NBA games for the Blazers during the 2010-2011 season. In five games, he averaged 0.4 points and 1.4 rebounds. His twin brother Jason played in the NBA from 2001-2014. Jarron is currently an assistant with New Orleans.

Stacey Augmon:
You remember the “Plastic Man” don’t you? He was part of the trade that helped bring Scottie Pippen to Portland in 1999. Before the trade, Augmon was with the Blazers from 1997-2001. Houston would waive him after the trade, and he’d later sign with Portland. This past season he was an assistant in Sacramento. However, there is no word if Augmon will be returning to their bench, as Coach Alvin Gentry was recently terminated.

Brian Shaw:
We all remember him from the Lakers. Shaw appeared in one game for the Blazers during the 1998-1999 season. The Blazers signed him and traded him to Houston as part of the Pippen trade. He was later released by the Rockets. He played five minutes for Portland and did not score. Shaw is currently on the Clippers bench.

Nick Van Exel:
Van Exel was acquired in 2004 in a trade with the Golden State Warriors involving center Dale Davis and guard Dan Dickau. He appeared in 53 games and averaged 11.1 points and 4.3 assists with Portland. Van Exel is currently an assistant on former Blazers Head Coach Nate McMillan’s bench in Atlanta.

Earl Watson:
The one-time coach of the Suns was a member of the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2013-2014 season. Watson played his last 24 NBA games with Portland. Now he is assisting Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors.

Damon Stoudamire:
“Mighty Mouse” as he was known in his playing days, Stoudamire is from Portland, playing his high school ball at Wilson High and collegiately at Arizona. Stoudamire was traded to Portland from the Raptors in 1998 and was in a Blazers jersey until 2005. After Portland, he’d play for the Memphis Grizzlies, where he would later become an assistant coach, and the San Antonio Spurs. He’d go on to be the head coach at Pacific University (California). Currently, Stoudamire assists Ime Udoka and the Boston Celtics.

Former Blazers who are now head coaches:
Ime Udoka (from Portland, played for the Blazers in 2007) currently helming the Celtics in the playoffs and Steve Kerr (2001) with the Golden State Warriors are both representing Portland in a small way. You could also mention Juwan Howard (2010) who is the coach at the University of Michigan.