Rex Kalamian Rumors
Stackhouse said that he is intrigued by the idea of building a team, and his conversations with Raptors president and general manager Masai Ujiri have been among his favourite parts of the season. He has floated the idea of going back to school to further his ability to operate in that realm. For now, coaching is working out just fine. Stackhouse has found that his recent career is currency with the Raptors’ players, although there is a clear line between him and them. Stackhouse and his fellow assistants, Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian, all have a love for jazz, and have gone to see live music on the road. That is not necessarily a common activity for players.
Jason Thompson: “This is also an established team that’s doing very well, so I’m just trying to come in here and add depth to a great roster. James Johnson and Patrick Patterson were both traded from Sac to Toronto, and they told me that this organization and the guys here are great. I’ve kept in contact with them throughout the last couple years, so it’s good to see them and wear the same uniform again. I also already knew Kyle Lowry, who’s a Philly guy, and Coach Kalamian, who was an assistant in Sacramento my first couple years. Plus I am keeping my college number – #1 – which I also had in Golden State. I’m glad to carry that through with me to Toronto. The organization brought me in with open arms and continues to make the situation as comfortable as possible for me. I appreciate that.”
Being around Kevin Durant the majority of his career, did you have any doubts he’d be able to come back and sustain the level he had before his injury? “None. None. Not at all. If you saw him every day and you saw how hard he worked to rehabilitate himself, to get back to this level and if you were around him, you saw the hurt in him every day by not being able to be on the floor. I knew it was just a matter of time before he worked his way back to the level he expects to be at – and that’s one of the top players in the league.”
Kalamian, who’s family still lives in Oklahoma City, took some time to speak with The Oklahoman before the Thunder-Raptors game on Wednesday: The Oklahoman: Is your role with the Raptors similar to what you were doing with the Thunder? Kalamian: “Very similar. The lead assistant on the team. What I really try to do is help coach (Dwane) Casey manage the game and think about practices, try to stay a step ahead and help him with things that may be coming up. That was my role here with the Thunder for two years as coach (Scott) Brooks’ lead assistant. It’s basically the same job, although we are learning each other still as a team because we have six new players on the team and new coaches; we’re still in the learning process of that.”
How are you looking at you and Scott Brooks’ departure from the Thunder? “For me it’s disappointing because the ultimate goal was a championship and we came so close. We were three wins away from bringing this community and this city, these fans, something they deserved in my opinion. The players have worked so hard for it, the core players have been here so long … Russell (Westbrook), Kevin, Serge (Ibaka) and Nick (Collison) have really put a lot into building the culture of this team. I was just personally disappointed that we could never get over the hump because of whatever … being outplayed or injury. But I understand the business and I’ve been in this situation before where new coaches take over. Sometimes it’s unfortunate, but it’s time to move on, find new opportunities and new challenges.”
The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have hired Rex Kalamian (Kah LAY mee an), Andy Greer and Jerry Stackhouse as assistant coaches on head coach Dwane Casey’s staff. “I am pleased to add Rex, Andy and Jerry to our coaching staff,” said Casey. “They are established winners at the NBA level, and bring valuable experience and a passion for the game to our team. Together with Nick and Jama, we have a group that will challenge our players daily to improve and compete.”