Elston Turner Rumors
They plan to speak with at least four more candidates as well: Nate McMillan (former Seattle SuperSonics and Portland Trailblazers coach); now an associate head coach with the Indiana Pacers), Mark Jackson (former Golden State Warriors coach), Ettore Messina (renowned European coach, former Los Angeles Lakers assistant who is currently an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs), and Elston Turner (longtime assistant coach who spent four seasons with Kings president of basketball operations Vlade Divac in Sacramento and is currently on Dave Joerger’s staff in Memphis).
Chris Haynes: Kings request permission to speak with Grizzlies assistant Elston Turner and was approved, I’m told. @mr_jasonjones reported he was on radar
Clippers assistant Mike Woodson is slated to come to Sacramento soon and former Kings and current Memphis Grizzlies assistant Elston Turner has been added to the ever growing list of candidates. The search has already yielded 15 names or more and could grow before this is all over.
Chris Wallace wonders why Elston Turner has not been hired as a head coach in the NBA. Turner, currently the lead assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies, has assembled an impressive resume that is filled with wins and playoffs appearances. Turner has interviewed for a number of vacant head coach positions during his career, but has never been hired. “He’s certainly deserves a head coaching job,” said Wallace, general manager of the Grizzlies. “He’s been successful as a player – collegiate and pro level. He’s been around.”
So is Turner bitter about not getting an opportunity? “Not at all,” he said. “Most definitely, I still want to be a head coach. I’d love the opportunity. No question, I’m prepared. But I know there are only 30 jobs, and when one opens up, 300 people have their names in the hat. If it doesn’t happen for me, I’m just as blessed as can be to be where I am.” I hope Turner — one of the classiest guys ever to come through the Blazers’ organization — gets his shot. His demeanor reminds me a lot of Paul Silas, who served 12 years as head coach with Cleveland, the San Diego Clippers, Charlotte and New Orleans. And also of Lenny Wilkens, the Hall of Famer who is second on the NBA coaches’ career win list.
Turner is still hoping it will happen. “The chances are small, but I have a hell of a résumé, and I’m still adding on to it,” he said. “I’m not bitter at all, but I’m ready if the opportunity comes, that’s for sure.”