Otis Smith Rumors

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Smith, 51, insists he harbors no ill will toward the franchise. “I don’t know why it would leave a bitter taste in my mouth,” he said. “I think I decided I was going to walk out of the door one day almost the same way I walked in and never be heard from again. And pretty much until this point in time, that’s been the truth. I kind of walked in almost the same way. “It was the DeVoses’ keys. When they decide to ask for them and they want them, they can get them. Or else if I didn’t see things running the way I thought it should run, then I was going to walk out the door. I thought it ended the way it should have.”
Bower, 53, adds another element. He was a coach last season at Marist before named in early June the Pistons GM. A former assistant general manager with the New Orleans Hornets, Bower said he has known Smith for years, through his association with Van Gundy, and did not consider his hiring a threat. “When Stan talked to me, I thought he was the perfect guy because he embodies everything that the developmental league is all about,” Bower said. “He’s great for this. It (the NBA-D League) is about getting the best out of guys.”
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Smith was named coach of the Drive last week in what was a Detroit-Grand Rapids game of match the personnel with the title. Smith, formerly the general manager of the Magic, will take on his first professional coaching job, and it will be under Van Gundy, who was a coach and under Smith in Orlando before he was named the president and head coach of the Pistons in May. Adding to the twist, Smith also interviewed to be general manager of the Pistons, a position Van Gundy eventually gave to another long-time associate Jeff Bower. That makes an interesting mix of 50-somethings. But not strange bedfellows, the three said. “I think Otis’ interest in being the (Pistons) GM was more because of me and how he could help me,” Van Gundy said. “He was much more enthusiastic about this opportunity than he would have been to be the GM. People look at that and say, you’re crazy. But I think this is more of Otis’ passion. It’s always been working and developing players for him and that fits perfectly with what we want to do (in Grand Rapids).”
The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club is appointing Otis Smith as head coach of its NBA Development League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. Per team policy, terms of the deal which is pending NBA approval, were not disclosed. “I’m pleased to welcome Otis Smith to the Detroit Pistons organization as the head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive,” said Van Gundy. “Otis understands the vision and connectivity we want to create between the Detroit Pistons and the Grand Rapids Drive, our NBA D-League affiliate. His experiences as a general manager, director of player development and NBA player will pay dividends as he spearheads our efforts in Grand Rapids.”
The Detroit Pistons are in advanced negotiations to hire former Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith to coach their NBA D-League franchise, according to NBA coaching sources. Sources told ESPN.com that Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy has targeted Smith — his former boss and close associate in Orlando — to move to the coaching side of the business by taking charge of Detroit’s new D-League expansion team, which will begin play this season in nearby Grand Rapids, Mich.
Sources told ESPN.com that Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy has targeted Smith — his former boss and close associate in Orlando — to move to the coaching side of the business by taking charge of Detroit’s new D-League expansion team, which will begin play this season in nearby Grand Rapids, Mich. One source said Friday that a deal is not done but that the sides are closing in on an agreement.
“It was just one of those things from (Howard) that I never did understand and I guess some things just aren’t meant for you to understand,’’ Nelson said. “I just took the approach to play basketball wherever I was. I knew that I was still in Orlando last year for a reason and that the organization still wanted me here. Really, that helped me kind of get over all of the nonsense that was going around.’’ With Howard gone, with Stan Van Gundy having been fired and Otis Smith stepping down, in some ways it’s as if Nelson is one of the Magic’s lone links to the past. Heading into his ninth season, he is the longest-tenured Magic player on the roster. And even though his closest friend on the team (Howard), the coach who developed him into an all-star (Van Gundy) and the GM who pushed him to be a better leader (Smith) are all gone, Nelson would have it no other way than to remain in Orlando.
While the Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of landing Dwight Howard, the Chicago Bulls were one of several teams that kept an ongoing dialogue with the Orlando Magic in regards to landing the superstar center, according to a league source. The Bulls, who had conversations regarding a potential deal with former Orlando GM Otis Smith, continued kicking the tires regarding a potential swap with new Magic GM Rob Hennigan after he was hired in late June.