clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Kings to interview Nate McMillan and Elston Turner

New, comments
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

With word that the Kings reportedly want to finish up their coaching search sooner rather than later, the names that they actually interview start to grow in importance.  So far that list includes Mike Woodson, Vinny Del Negro and Sam Mitchell (and maybe Kevin McHale? Who knows, conflicting info coming from the Bee in his case).

Today we've heard two other names be mentioned as getting interviews in the near future, former Kings assistant Elston Turner and current Pacers assistant Nate McMillan.

Turner has yet to get a chance to coach in the NBA, but has a ton of experience on the sideline, working as an assistant since 1996.  Turner has personal history with the Kings, having been one of Rick Adelman's assistants from 2000 to 2006, meaning he actually helped coach the man who might hire him, Vlade Divac.  Turner further served on Adelman's staff for another four years in Houston before continuing on to the Suns and Grizzlies.  His reputation as an assistant is as a defensive coordinator, and he was in charge of Sacramento's defensive schemes back in the glory days.  Those Kings teams, while known for their offense, were among the best defensive teams in the league as well.

McMillan on the other hand does have head coaching experience, serving as the head coach of the Seattle Supersonics for 5 years and the Portland Trail Blazers for 7.  He amassed a 478-412 record in that time but only reached the second round once in 5 playoff visits.  McMillan received a lot of credit for changing the culture of the Trail Blazers after their "Jail Blazers" years.  McMillan's trademark style is a slow-it-down, grinding game and making the most out of each possession.  In Portland especially, his teams were always at or near the bottom of the league in pace.  Funnily enough, McMillan's teams were far better offensively than they were defensively with this strategy as you can see from this table (partial seasons have asterisks and include team statistics with another coach):

Year Ortg Drtg Pace
2000* 105.6 (10th) 105.6 (24th) 91.6 (16th)
2001 108.9 (5th) 105.6 (17th) 89.0 (24th)
2002 103.7 (19th) 103.9 (17th) 88.0 (27th)
2003 107.3 (3rd) 108.0 (27th) 89.9 (15th)
2004 112.2 (2nd) 109.6 (27th) 87.9 (27th)
2005 101.1 (30th) 111.9 (28th) 87.6 (28th)
2006 105.1 (20th) 109.9 (26th) 88.3 (29th)
2007 107.3 (14th) 108.4 (17th) 87.9 (29th)
2008 113.9 (1st) 107.8 (13th) 86.6 (30th)
2009 110.8 (7th) 107.1 (15th) 87.7 (30th)
2010 108.8 (10th) 107.1 (14th) 87.9 (30th)
2011* 105.7 (11th) 106.4 (23rd) 91.2 (15th)

That kind of pace would be a big departure from what the Kings were doing under George Karl, but it might be a better fit for a team built around DeMarcus Cousins.

In other coaching news, Ettore Messina will interview with the Lakers and there's this tidbit on Luke Walton from Sam Amick:

As of yet, we don't know if the fact they haven't been granted permission is because they haven't asked or if they've been denied.  I'll update as soon as we hear for sure.

UPDATE: Well that's that I guess.