Clifford Ray Rumors
The Sacramento Kings today announced that Kings Assistant Coaches Jim Eyen, Alex English, and Clifford Ray will not be retained for the upcoming season, effectively immediately. In addition, Bobby Jackson will no longer serve as an assistant coach but will continue with the organization in another capacity.
Petrie insisted Monday that both he and the organization are committed to Cousins for the long haul. “When I talk to him periodically, it can be about basketball, it can be about life, it can be about last night’s game, it can be about today’s practice,” Petrie said. “We’ve got an unbelievable staff that works with him on a daily basis. We’ve got Clifford Ray, who’s one of the best big men coaches around. We’ve got a head coach that continues to invest a tremendous amount of energy to help him. He’s all about moving forward and trying to help solve this.”
Clifford Ray said he wanted to coach two more years before heading back to Florida. But the Celtics dismissed him after the 2009-10 season. After a year and a half off and time to rehabilitate a troublesome left foot, Ray is working as a consultant with the Sacramento Kings, working with mercurial big man DeMarcus Cousins. Ray was an assistant on Doc Rivers’s staff since Rivers’s days in Orlando, but he was removed in favor of Roy Rogers, who lasted one season before joining Lawrence Frank’s staff in Detroit. Now the Celtics lack a big man coach. Ray, meanwhile, is grateful to be in better health and back in the NBA. “I hadn’t really wanted to come back to work but [Sacramento coach] Keith [Smart] and I went through minor league ball together and I was with him when he got his first [NBA] job, pretty much like it was with Doc when he had his first job,’’ Ray said. “It was more caring for somebody – that was the motivation – and I want to see how I physically progressed.’’
Clifford Ray, a former NBA center and longtime coach in the NBA and Continental Basketball Association, has joined the Kings as a consultant who will work primarily with their big men. Ray, who had a 10-year playing career with Chicago and Golden State, was most recently an assistant coach with Boston from 2006 to 2010, a tenure that included the Celtics’ 2007-08 NBA title season. Ray was a member of Cleveland’s coaching staff in 2002-03, when Smart was the Cavaliers’ interim head coach. Smart said the two coached together in the CBA, where Smart got his coaching start with the Fort Wayne Fury.
A new addition to the Sacramento Kings’ coaching staff was spotted working with Hassan Whiteside following shoot-around today. Clifford Ray, who won championships as a player (1975, Golden State Warriors) and coach (2008, Boston Celtics), has joined head coach Keith Smart’s staff to work with the team’s big men. “He’s been all over with coaching so he has a great feel,” said Smart of Ray, who’s had NBA stints in Dallas, New Jersey, Golden State, Cleveland, Orlando and Boston. “Every big guy in the league has come through his hands at one time or another.”
The contracts for all of Doc Rivers’ assistant coaches expired on June 30, but only one has been told to find another job. Two league sources confirmed that Roy Rogers, who replaced Clifford Ray as big man coach last season, will not return.