Don Newman Rumors
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.
Suns coach Alvin Gentry interviewed ex-Houston assistant Elston Turner in Phoenix on Tuesday about a defensive-assistant job. Other candidates include San Antonio assistant Don Newman, Chicago scout Pete Myers and Milwaukee assistant Jim Boylan.
Spurs assistant coach Don Newman has interviewed with the Phoenix Suns about an added assistant coaching position on Coach Alvin Gentry’s staff. The Arizona Republic reported that Newman talked with Gentry in a job that the Phoenix coach hopes will improve his team’s leaky defense. Gentry also has talked with former Chicago assistant and current scout Pete Myers and Houston assistant Elston Turner, who was a finalist for the Suns’ head-coaching job in 2008. The Republic also said that Gentry may meet with Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons and other coaches who have been involved in the conference finals, such as Dallas’ Dwane Casey, Oklahoma City’s Maurice Cheeks and Miami’s Bob McAdoo.