Don Newman Rumors
In the Wizards’ season opener against the Magic in Orlando last night, there was one thing that was impossible to avoid looking at. No, it wasn’t the new pace-and-space offense or the NBA’s most recent socks changes, it was Wizards assistant Don Newman. And his eye patch. The biggest one many of us have ever seen. Newman, who’s been with the team since 2012 and has had a lingering eye issue, the matter is obviously one of health, not style. But the denizens of Twitter last night looked on in amazement at the patch, which covered his right eye.
The Denver Nuggets received permission to interview Washington Wizards assistant Don Newman and discussed the franchise’s vacant head coaching job with him in the past week, league sources told RealGM. Newman’s 16 NBA seasons as an assistant coach — including an eight-year stint with the San Antonio Spurs where he developed strong defensive principles and closely worked with Tim Duncan — give him the credibility to discuss a head coaching position. Since joining Randy Wittman’s staff in 2012, Newman has served as the architect of an improved Wizards’ defense.
When Popovich hired Vaughn two summers ago, he drew comparisons to Avery Johnson, another ex-Spurs point guard who went on to an NBA head-coaching job. “Jacque Vaughn is a star,” Popovich said then. “You can see the same qualities in him that you saw in Avery.” Vaughn becomes the second Spurs assistant to leave this offseason. Don Newman, a longtime Popovich aide, was hired as Randy Wittman’s lead assistant in Washington.