Memphis Grizzlies Rumors
The Iowa Energy and its NBA affiliate, the Memphis Grizzlies, today jointly announced Nicki Gross as an assistant coach for the Energy. With her promotion Gross becomes the only female assistant coach in the NBA D-League. Gross enters her second season with the Iowa Energy. Gross spent the 2014-2015 season with the Energy as video coordinator after previously serving as the assistant video coordinator for the Bakersfield Jam in 2013-2014. Pending league approval, Gross will begin her assistant coaching duties this upcoming season.
“I am very excited to promote Nicki within our staff as she becomes the only female assistant coach in the NBA D-League,” said Energy Head Coach Bob Donewald. “Nicki joined our franchise last season as video coordinator and did an outstanding job in helping the team prepare for each game. She is a tireless worker who has a bright future in basketball.”
“I told him, ‘Even though we’re good friends, I’m still going to foul the beep out of you when we play,’” Barnes recalled Tuesday during his introductory news conference in Memphis. “That’s just the kind of player I am. There’s no hard feelings… “Basically coming from the enemy and now they’re the enemy,” Barnes said of the Clippers, “my kids are a little confused still. I have twin boys and they’re just like, ‘So, Daddy, do you not like DeAndre, Chris [Paul] and Blake [Griffin] no more?’ And I’m like, ‘No, they’re still my friends, it’s just they’re my enemy when the ball goes up.’”
Nicki Gross is a little preoccupied. So she doesn’t dwell on the uniqueness of her new position with the Iowa Energy. “To be honest, I’m just focused on helping our team,” Gross said of her promotion to assistant coach for the NBA Development League franchise. “I don’t really take (gender) into consideration, because basketball is basketball.” The Energy and their parent club, the Memphis Grizzlies, will officially announce Gross’ move up from video coordinator on Thursday.
Barnes made sure to warn Jordan that things could change between them in the flicker of a cake candle now that Barnes plays for the Memphis Grizzlies. “I told him, ‘Even though we’re good friends, I’m still going to foul the beep out of you when we play,'” Barnes recalled Tuesday during his introductory news conference in Memphis. “That’s just the kind of player I am. There’s no hard feelings.”
It also means a player known for altercations with fans and referees, along with opposing players and team owners, has some reputation-mending to do in his new city. He might start with a young female fan who became irritated during a playoff game between the Grizzlies and Clippers in April 2013, when Barnes kicked a garbage can on his way off the court after a bitter defeat. “It was a close game and I was mad that we lost and I kicked the can,” Barnes said. “I’m looking forward to inviting that young lady back to the first game and letting her know I’m not the guy she thought I was when I kicked the can.”