Elston Turner Rumors
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.”
Officially announced Monday, Joerger will lean on his coaching mentor (famed minor league coach Duane Ticknor), a longtime and well-respected NBA assistant (Elston Turner), a holdover from the Lionel Hollins regime (Bob Thornton) and an up-and-coming young coach (Shawn Respert). The Griz also announced the addition of Chattin Hill as athletic performance coach and hired Mark Sanford as assistant video coordinator/player development. Jason March, video coordinator for several seasons, was promoted to advance scout. March’s former assistant Steve Jones moves in to the role as video coordinator/player development.