Joe Prunty Rumors
Still, that was a ways away. “We knew at the time that Giannis had the ability to handle the ball,” says Joe Prunty, Bucks assistant coach from 2014 to 2018, “but being able to handle the ball and being able to run the team are different things.” Kidd flirted with having Giannis at point guard beginning in 2014 summer league, though Giannis’s official position was listed as center in two of four of the games. Kidd knew Giannis could play all positions; he could become a hybrid point forward, like Scottie Pippen was. Privately, Kidd told his coaches that Giannis might never morph into a point guard, but he could turn into the next-generation big man, because, truly, what five-man could guard him?
In addition to quickly learning the system of head coach Joe Prunty, Mathias is absorbing knowledge from NBA veterans Isaiah Thomas and Joe Johnson, two other guards on the U.S. roster, as he looks to improve his stock. “It’s been great,” Mathias said. “They’re veterans. They’ve been around. They’ve won a lot of big games. They’ve had great careers in the NBA. To be able to pick their brains and point out some things that they see on the floor, it’s huge.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Longtime NBA guard Isaiah Thomas has committed to play for Team USA in the AmericaCup qualifying tournament Feb. 19-20 in San Juan, sources tell ESPN. Joe Prunty will be the USA coach.