The Detroit Pistons might see some new faces on the sidelines among the coaching staff, as recent media reports suggest the addition of some former longtime NBA players and the departure of a respected analytics guru for the organization.
Rashard Lewis and Keith Bogans, who both had long tenures in the NBA, and were additions to the Pistons Summer League coaching staff this season, are finalizing deals to join the Pistons staff for the NBA season, according to Frank Isola.
It’s unclear if the Pistons are just adding to their bench of assistant coaches or if either Lewis or Bogans would be replacing someone, but there is another report that the New Orleans Pelicans are in hot pursuit of Detroit assistant coach Sammy Gelfand. Known for his analytics mind and melding it with actionable data for the coaching staff, Gelfand, 35, formerly worked with the Golden State Warriors alongside Willie Green.
Green, coming off his first season with a Pelicans team on the upswing, wants to add Gelfand to his staff, according to Marc Stein. It’s unclear if the pursuit will be successful or if the Pistons will fend off New Orleans.
Bogans, Lewis and former Piston Jason Maxiell all joined Detroit’s Summer League staff as part of the NBA’s Assistant Coaches Program, which launched in 1988 as a way to train former NBA, G League and WNBA players in what it takes to be an NBA coach and connect them to opportunities.
A feature on the program from 2020 provides details on some of the training given to the former players in the Coaches Program:
The Assistant Coaches Program looks to give its candidates all of the tools that will be needed to become a successful coach at the professional level. This includes extensive technical training in scouting and video editing software, analytics and technologies with access to Synergy, Fast Draw, Fast Scout, SportsCode and JustPlay basketball-learning software. Through mentor Butch Carter’s Analytics 4 Coaches program, candidates are able to learn the various software platforms and how to pair their knowledge of the game as players with analytics to improve their overall coaching profile.
NBA players are used to reading scouting reports as they prepare to take on an opponent. However, most do not understand the tools used to develop that report and the amount of time and effort it takes to put it together. The ACP gives its candidates a deep understanding of basketball analytics, player evaluations and the ability to develop detailed scouting reports.
None of the moves are official, but we will provide more information as it becomes available.