Scott Roth Rumors
But that was before he met Audie Norris, a former Spanish League champion who is widely considered the best American big man to ever play professional basketball in Europe. Norris was hired in early 2014 by Sevilla, where he and former NBA player and coach Scott Roth played an integral role in Porzingis’ development. “A lot of times, basketball is destiny,” Norris told SB Nation. “Scott and I came in at the right time for Kristaps’ career. He’s had some really good coaches, but Kris never had anybody that would really could talk to him about NBA life from a professional standpoint.”
Though the NBA is becoming more perimeter-oriented, true superstar bigs are able to balance their games with an inside attack. Norris knew it was crucial for Porzingis to diversify his game. “It wasn’t easy for him to adapt those moves because it wasn’t part of his daily routine, but Kris is a sponge,” Norris said. “Whatever he learns, he stays working. He’ll always try to find a way to make it work for him. He never really played with his back to the basket, so I told him, ‘we’re gonna work on three moves: the jump hook, the turnaround jump shot off the glass, and the shoulder fake jumper, and from there we built combinations.'”
While the game is pretty fast like the ACB league in Spain, it’s more physical than in Europe, especially because I’ve been playing the 5. But it’s mostly the same basketball. The first coach I had in Seville was American, Scott Roth, and we were playing this kind of defense in the ACB league. I would say like 60, 70 percent of what we do now is similar to the stuff we did with Scott and Audie Norris, my other American coach who also taught me the bank shot. I shoot it all the time now. In Europe, we called it “blue” on defense when a point guard steps on the side and then the big helps down, like icing a pick-and-roll to the sideline. Here, it’s “push.” And in a middle pick-and-roll, here it’s “weak” because you force the opponent to his weak hand. Just different names, but the same stuff.