Tony Ronzone Rumors

Bringing aboard Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams as assistants aren’t the only changes for the U.S. men’s national basketball team. New Denver Nuggets assistant general manager Arturas Karnisovas replaces Tony Ronzone as the international player personnel scout, and Oklahoma City scout Scott Simpson joins the Los Angeles Clippers’ T.J. Zanin as advanced scout for the national team, which began preparations Monday in Las Vegas for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Miami Heat scout Pat Delany is no longer an advanced scout with USA Basketball.
Blatt has earned a reputation around the world as one of basketball’s best coaches. He has won everywhere over the last decade, culminating in Russia’s upset victory to capture the 2007 EuroCup over dominant Spain, a tournament hosted by Madrid. “He’s got respect from Russia, which is a really difficult country to get respect from,” says Tony Ronzone, the longtime international scout now working with the Mavericks, and who has scouted opponents for USA Basketball for the past several years.
Tony Ronzone, the former assistant GM in Detroit and Minnesota, also is a free agent and sources say he’d be amenable to joining a revamped Magic front office with Bower in the lead role. Thus far, Martins has not reached out to any potential candidates as he settles into his new role, but sources believe the direction of the team — and Howard’s fickle approach when it comes to staying or leaving — could prime the pump for sweeping changes.
With assistant GM Tony Ronzone gone, Kahn will reconfigure the front office: Adelman’s son R.J. will bring some of the statistical analytics the Rockets use in Houston and assume a front-office player personnel/game preparation role. A new advance scout — Brent Haskins followed Kevin McHale and J.B. Bickerstaff to Houston — will report to R.J. Last season’s assistant coaches Bill Laimbeer, Reggie Theus and Dave Wohl will be paid for their contract’s remaining year but won’t be reassigned new jobs.
So rejoice, you basketball geeks who clamored for the Wolves to hire Rockets VP of basketball ops Sam Hinkie from Morey’s staff instead of David Kahn two-plus years ago! I was told yesterday that the Wolves might not hire anyone to replace departed Tony Ronzone. I guess now that’s because they’ve already in essence hired him, even though none of those assistant coach hires or RJ’s hire will be announced and official until it’s clear this lockout is ending.
This is the most impressive moment of Kahn’s brief history as a basketball boss. So many of his other decisions smacked of desperation and naiveté. He hired Kurt Rambis because of his image as a Lakers champion and his proximity to Phil Jackson on the Lakers bench, not because Rambis had ever demonstrated coaching chops. He brought in, by his phraseology, “long and athletic” players who don’t know how to win, such as Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph, hoping to catch lightning in a long and athletic bottle. He brought in foreign scout Tony Ronzone, who wound up, according to my sources, leaving the organization because of internal disputes. He drafted Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio because they were spectacular at lower levels of basketball, not because they could rationally be projected to become NBA stars. He brought in players such as Darko Milicic, because if such a long shot ever cashed in, Kahn could take the credit.
Timberwolves assistant general manager Tony Ronzone has left the organization after 16 months on the job. Known for his international scouting connections, he was hired in spring 2010 just about the time Fred Hoiberg headed for Iowa State’s coaching job. Since then, he was involved in negotiations to get Spanish guard Ricky Rubio signed in June and focused on improving the team’s international scouting operation. In the two drafts he worked for the team, the Wolves selected three international players with second-round picks.
Timberwolves assistant general manager Tony Ronzone has left the organization. Known for his international-scouting connections, he was hired in spring 2010 just about the time Fred Hoiberg was headed for Iowa State’s head-coaching job and had a voice in personnel moves that included drafting Wes Johnson and Derrick Williams as well as trading away Al Jefferson, acquiring Michael Beasley and re-signing center Darko Milicic.
Walsh will stay on as a consultant and head up the search for his replacement, which immediately could focus on the two best candidates not tied to teams: former Trail Blazers executive Kevin Pritchard and former Hornets GM Jeff Bower. Former Cavs GM and current Spurs executive Danny Ferry also is expected to be considered, and a name to watch is Timberwolves assistant GM Tony Ronzone, whose strong international presence and close relationships with the stars of Team USA could be appealing to Dolan. Ronzone also has a working relationship with Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni through USA Basketball. D’Antoni has one year left on his contract.
Mike Cristaldi, director of public relations of the Wolves, confirmed to ARA that David Khan, general manager in Minneapolis, and Tony Ronzone, assistant general manager, will travel to Barcelona next week. In addition to watch the Final Four to be held at Palau Sant Jordi, they want to close the deal so Ricky Rubio (Regal Barça) can play for coach Kurt Rambis next season.
That somebody, if hired, would be a more emotional, fiery guy than Rambis. Here’s one name I’ll just throw against the wall from each category: * Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. Who knows what Mark Cuban will do if the Mavs’ playoffs end prematurely. Carlisle has ties to both Kahn from his Indiana days and assistant GM Tony Ronzone from his Detroit days. * Former Cleveland coach Mike Brown, who probably isn’t “get-able” now but could be if such teams as Boston, Orlando, Miami and the Lakers change coaches and he’s still looking for a job. A guy such as former Houston coach Rick Adelman probably would want to tackle this kind of rebuilding job at his age.
Wolves assistant general manager/player personnel Tony Ronzone visited with the flashy point guard, the team’s first-round pick in the 2009 NBA draft, during the Spanish Cup tournament in Barcelona last month and said the Spanish phenom told him that he’s been keeping up with the Wolves. “He said he knows about our team and he likes our young talent,” Ronzone said of Rubio, who is in his second season with Regal FC Barcelona, the defending Euroleague champion and one of the top teams in the Spanish Pro League. “He said he likes (Kevin) Love, (Michael) Beasley and Wes Johnson. He’s very in tune with a lot of the NBA players.”
Ronzone said he and Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn plan to return to Barcelona in May to watch the 21-year-old Rubio and Regal FC in the Euroleague playoffs. “We’re going over there to support him, not to bother him,” Ronzone said. “We don’t talk with him that much. It’s very important that he sees us, and it’s important that the people of Minnesota know we’re over there to see him.”
It also has carried Ronzone around to the world to more than 70 countries in a playing, coaching and scouting career that started in New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Dubai and has led to such far-flung stops as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, all across China to a teenager named Yao Ming’s apartment and even to North Korea. That’s where in a meeting after a FIBA clinic Ronzone conducted there, Kim — North Korea’s eminently post-uppable “Supreme Leader” and certifiable basketball junkie — walked away with a stack of coaching notes, drills and videotapes Ronzone had compiled through the years. “He took all my stuff,” Ronzone said, “and he probably still has it.”
Wolves assistant GM Tony Ronzone — a scout and member of Team USA’s staff since 2007 — sent a photo of himself and Love celebrating the gold from his cell phone just after the game’s end and just before he and Love, at least according to Ronzone’s text message, “on our way now to have Diet Coke at the Nike Hospitality room” before catching that middle-of-the-night flight back home to where the NBA season soon awaits. “World Champs for USA,” Ronzone texted. “Now TWolves time.”
That will not be easy for the Americans, who will play in an atmosphere here unlike any they have experienced. During Turkey’s last-second semifinal win Saturday, the Turkish fans chanted throughout, blasted artificial noisemakers and went wild when Kerem Tunceri escaped for an easy layup with five-tenths of a second remaining. “Tell them there’s nothing comparable in the States to this,” said Tony Ronzone, USA Basketball’s director of international player personnel. “Nothing. You can’t compare to this crowd and atmosphere. You just saw people in the stands crying that their team won. “The patriotism in this country, you get goose bumps and chills in your body watching it.”
Jonah Ballow: I talked to Tony Ronzone a couple of days ago and he said that this US team is having to deal with a little bit more of anti-US sentiment during the World Championship because there is a lot of cheering for Brazil and Spain as opposed to what happened in China where everybody pretty much backed USA. What is your sense there as far as the atmosphere and is USA walking into a road building in order to get these victories? Pete Thamel: It’s more of a road building not because of the Turks. Some of these other nations have traveled well and then it becomes like an NCAA tournament scenario, so if it’s Slovenia versus the Americans and you are a neutral fan, who are you going to root for? You are going to root for the underdogs, so that’s what they have up against a little bit. I would say they have not faced a particular hostile atmosphere. I went to Anchor the other night to cover Turkey versus Greece and that was a hostile atmosphere. If they play Turkey here, it will be a hostile atmosphere. There’s been pinches of it, a couple of loud crowds but nothing overwhelming that I would really think changed the dynamics of the games. I would say that the crowds have been fairly timid.