Scott Roth Rumors

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.
He certainly never imagined that his new employers, thanks to the ACB’s petty rules, aren’t even allowed to list him as a head coach in league play. According to ACB regulations, specifically those ordained by the Spanish coaches association, head coaches must possess a league-sanctioned license as well as FIBA clearance to coach league games. Roth didn’t have the license when Sevilla hired him but was assured by his new club that, after a decade as an NBA assistant as well as head-coaching experience in both the D-League and internationally with the Dominican Republic, Sevilla would either have the grounds to obtain the license for him or be able to pay some sort of fine to clear him.
It’s a farce that prompted Marca, Spain’s biggest daily national sports newspaper, to refer to Roth as Sevilla’s Entrenador Fantasma. The Phantom Coach. Suffice it to say none of this was in the brochure when the job was offered. Despite Roth’s attempts to round up letters of support in recent weeks from the likes of the NBA, USA Basketball and both the Dominican Republic and Turkish national federations with whom he has worked, Sevilla has yet to convince the ACB that its new coach is already more than worthy of the license. Worse yet, Roth can’t do anything to obtain a license in-season, since one of the three required courses is not until June.
In August, former NBA player Scott Roth agreed to take a detour from the volatile world of assistant coaching in the NBA to serve as the head coach of Baloncesto Sevilla in the Spanish ACB. It sounded like a truly special opportunity, since only a select few Yanks had previously coached in Spain’s top league, most notably ESPN’s own George Karl. So Roth, who had multiple playing stints in Spain in the early 1990s after his brief NBA career with Utah, San Antonio and Minnesota, decided he couldn’t refuse the opportunity to take charge of his own team at such a high level. Especially because serving as Sevilla’s coach would also mean overseeing the development of Latvian 7-footer Kristaps Porzingis, who is widely projected to be a lottery pick in the 2015 NBA Draft with a skill set scouts say takes the best from both Ersan Ilyasova and Andrea Bargnani. On my colleague Chad Ford’s latest Big Board, Porzingis is the No. 4-rated prospect.