The Kings added legendary scorer Alex English to the coaching staff last week to fill out the bench after Keith Smart ascended to the top spot. Those of us entranced by those old 1980s Nuggets whenever they make an appearance on NBA TV know English the player well. But what does he brings as a coach?
English has spent the last several years on the bench of the Toronto Raptors. We tabbed Adam Francis of Raptors HQ to break down English the coach. You can see that insight below the jump.
Alex English was one of the longest tenured members of the Toronto Raptors organization. He had been with the Raptors since 2004, serving as both Director of Player Development and an assistant coach to the likes of Sam Mitchell and Jay Triano. With Bryan Colangelo's decision not to retain Triano as head coach this past summer, English's tenure unfortunately ended as well, as the club decided to go in a different direction regarding the various bench bosses.
While the change in direction was understandable, it was disappointing to hear that English would no longer be part of the coaching staff. He excelled at working with the team's youngsters, something that bodes well for the Kings' and their current roster, and commanded a ton of respect in the locker room. He had this soft-spoken yet authoritative presence, and was one of the more fascinating people I've ever spoken with regarding the NBA, thanks to his storied past and basketball experience.
But Sacramento isn't simply getting some whimsical storyteller here. Raptors' big men from Chris Bosh to Amir Johnson can place a ton of credit in the development of their game at the feet of English. In particular, he spent a lot of time working with youngsters like Ed Davis, helping them on and off the court. Considering the similar raw big man talent collected by Sacramento, my hope is that the Kings will leverage English's calm insight, and Raptors' fans wish him the best of luck in his new role.
English is one of the true professionals in the game, and it's great to see him getting another shot at something he does so well.
Thanks to Adam for the insight!