HoopsHype Sam Mitchell rumors
“He was always very good to me,” Jay Triano said of Mitchell, who was fired Dec. 3, 2008 as the unproven Canadian was handed the job on an interim basis. “One of his goals always was to help us become better coaches and he wanted us all to become head coaches if we could. “He was very good at delegating and letting everyone be involved with real input.” Toronto Star
But he also had very public clashes with some players — notably Rafer Alston and Jalen Rose — and was left to deal with the fallout of the trade of Vince Carter, the low-water mark in franchise history that set the team back years. “We went through a lot,” he said. “I leaned a lot about myself and I grew as a man and I learned a lot about the job of being an NBA head coach.” Toronto Star
A rocky start to the 2008-09 season led to his dismissal, however, and Mitchell has been waiting for the opportunity to rejoin the NBA ranks since. He expects the transition back to be an easy one. “I’ve been in basketball 20-plus years, so I’m where I need to be,” Mitchell said. “This has just been like an extended vacation for me.” Macon Telegraph
Former NBA head coaches Sam Mitchell and Larry Krystkowiak have been named assistants for Avery Johnson with the New Jersey Nets. John Loyer, Popeye Jones and Tom Barrise were also named to Johnson's staff. "Avery has assembled a staff that brings a wealth of NBA experience to the sidelines," said new Nets general manager Billy King. "Their collective knowledge of the game, gained from both playing and coaching in the league, will be an invaluable asset to the head coach as well as our players." Toronto Sun
Sam Mitchell, the NBA's coach of the year in 2007, will join the New Jersey Nets as coach Avery Johnson's top assistant, according to league sources. Mitchell, who coached the Toronto Raptors from 2004-08, is returning to the league for the first time since his firing 17 games into the 2008-09 season. His hiring puts two of the last five Coaches of the Year on the Nets' bench, as Johnson won the award while coaching in Dallas in 2006. ESPN.com
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