Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has named Henry Bibby and Maz Trakh as assistant coaches joining John Loyer, who’s been on Detroit’s coaching staff the last two seasons. Additionally, Rasheed Wallace and Bernard Smith have been named player development coaches, Kamran Sufi has been hired as advance scout and Raman Sposato as video coordinator.
We already knew about Trakh, Loyer, Wallace and Smith. Henry Bibby, Mike Bibby’s father, is the big addition (Though, if we were paying attention, we would have known nearly a month ago.)
Bibby worked for Cheeks in Philadelphia and was previously a head coach at Southern Cal. After USC, he had a failed stint in the WNBA and then became an NBA assistant, most recently with the Grizzlies. For what it’s worth, Memphis didn’t want to keep Bibby.
I’m not enthused by Bibby’s hiring, but he appears to be a run-of-the-mill NBA assistant. I have no major complaints, either.
Supposedly, the Pistons were waiting to hire a No. 1 assistant. A credible report said Maurice Cheeks wanted Rex Kalamian for that role, and another report said Lionel Hollins was the preference.
So Bibby is the top assistant? Not quite. Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:
Bibby, most recently on the Memphis Grizzlies staff for the last five years, won’t be the lead assistant, as Cheeks announced he won’t have a lead.
As for his staff as a whole, he won’t officially delegate responsibilities but will lean on some who are stronger in certain areas.
"I have some guys I’m very comfortable with on offense and guys I’m comfortable with on defense," Cheeks said. "I won’t split them up that way, but their suggestions are probably used a bit more because they feel like they’re pretty good in that area."
When Cheeks was asked who would take over as acting coach in the event he were ever ejected from a game, Cheeks cooly replied, "I’m not getting ejected," before smiling and walking away.
On one hand, I commend Cheeks for thinking outside the box. If his staff functions best with no set roles, that’s how he should run it.
As for Sufi and Sposato, the other newly hired staff members, I’ll defer to the official release:
Sufi has spent the last three seasons working in the Chinese Basketball Association and served as an assistant coach with the Anaheim Arsenal of the NBA Development League from 2007-09. He played professional basketball in the ABA and overseas.
Sposato joins Detroit after spending the last eight seasons working for the L.A. Clippers organization where he started as a video coordinator in 2005. Prior to the Clippers, he spent 2003-05 as the video coordinator of the Portland Trail Blazers on Cheeks’ staff.