Dave Bliss Rumors
With wife Ashley Kerr due to give birth, Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said that he won’t accompany the Thunder on a three-game trip starting Friday in Milwaukee. Assistant coach Dave Bliss will take over as acting head coach. After Friday’s game against the Bucks, the Thunder visit the Boston Celtics on Saturday and the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. The team returns to Oklahoma City vs. the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. The Thunder are 6-8 this season and are 10th in the Western Conference.
Longtime Thunder assistant Maurice Cheeks is reportedly joining Billy Donovan’s staff in Chicago, and it’s unclear which of the five other Thunder assistants (David Akinyooye, Vin Bhavnani, Dave Bliss, Brian Keefe, Mike Wilks) will remain in Oklahoma City under Daigneault. “I think a lot of times you can hurt the room and the group if it just becomes about offsetting your weaknesses and filling your own individual gaps,” Daigneault said of the hiring process.
Donovan and Karnisovas will collaborate to put together the rest of his assistant coaching staff. Some potential names to keep in mind include Mark Daigneault and Billy Schmidt, who worked with Donovan at the University of Florida and in Oklahoma City. Another Thunder coach who could be a candidate to join Donovan’s staff in Chicago is Dave Bliss. Outside of Oklahoma City, keep an eye on Royal Ivey, who’s currently under contract with the Knicks. Several teams have expressed interest in Ivey and believe New York would allow him out of his contract as SNY reported. “It’s a great spot,” one Western Conference coachtold HoopsHype. “I like their position. They’ve got to hit on that fourth pick, but you’ve got some talent at least.”
Jackson’s triangle magic didn’t work in New York. Rosen can count the reasons and blames Jackson for not finding the right coach. “Hiring Derek Fisher was a mistake for a lot of reasons,’’ Rosen said. “He wasn’t ready. And there was a division in the coaching staff between Derek’s OKC guys [Brian Keefe, Josh Longstaff, Dave Bliss] and Phil’s guys [Kurt Rambis, Jim Cleamons]. Fisher’s guys didn’t want anything to do with them.’’
Erik Horne: The Thunder has announced its assistant coaches for the 2019-20 season: David Akinyooye, Dave Bliss, Mark Daigneault, Mike Wilks and Brian Keefe will join Vin Bhavnani, Maurice Cheeks and director of quality control Billy Schmidt.