Nate Bjorkgren Rumors
That’s why when the Phoenix Suns announced Watson’s coaching staff for the 2016-17 season — Jay Triano, Tyrone Corbin, Nate Bjorkgren, Jason Fraser, Marlon Garnett, and Scott Duncan — it should not have come as much surprise that included on that list were two former NBA head coaches. “My first recruit (in free agency) was not…a player. It was my staff,” Watson said. “Those were my biggest recruits were putting my staff together, bringing teachers in who had a unique ability to not only relate but to create and innovate something new.”
Assistant coach Nate Bjorkgren is the only assistant coach who will be retained from last season’s original staff other than Watson. Bjorkgren, a former D-League head coach, and Watson were in their first seasons with the Suns.
Ken Berger: The Suns are interviewing assistants Earl Watson, Corey Gaines and Nate Bjorkgren today for interim coach job, league source says.
The Suns will interview assistant coaches today before choosing an interim head coach. Corey Gaines, a former Phoenix Mercury head coach, was promoted from player development assistant to assistant coach before this season. Earl Watson and Nate Bjorkgren, a former D-League head coach, were promoted to front-row assistants on Dec. 28 following the firings of assistant coaches Mike Longabardi and Jerry Sichting.
Bjorkgren and Watson each have been viewed as rising stars in coaching but any rapid turnaround will be difficult for the Suns, who just lost their top scorer and playmaker and now face Cleveland at home and San Antonio and Oklahoma City on the road over the next four days. The Cavaliers, Spurs and Thunder are three of the NBA’s top four teams. The Suns’ staff also includes player development assistants Jason Fraser, Irving Roland and Chris Darnell, video coordinator Bret Burchard and assistant video coordinator Ross Geiger.