Pistons’ Rashard Lewis brings relatability to coaching as former NBA player

Detroit News

Detroit — New Pistons assistant coach Rashard Lewis spent the end of practice working with Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren on their perimeter shooting.

Lewis specialized in 3-point shooting as a stretch forward during his 16-year NBA career. A two-time All-Star and NBA champion, Lewis understands playing the game at a high level as an individual, but he also knew how to play a role in order for a team to win a title.

Lewis was recently announced as one of three new assistant coach/player development coaches alongside former NBA guard Keith Bogans and Brandon Bailey. At 6-foot-10, Lewis had the height to shoot over most defenders. It’s a skill that he can pass down to the Pistons’ bigs.

“He’s an old vet,” said Pistons coach Dwane Casey, who was an assistant coach for the Seattle SuperSonics during Lewis’ seven years there. “I remember when I was going down to Houston, working with him down there and saying the same things that he’s saying to these young guys now. He has a calmness about him, a humility about him.”

Lewis’ 16 seasons in the NBA were split between Seattle, Orlando, Washington and Miami, where he became a champion with the 2012-13 Heat. He most recently played in the BIG3 basketball league. Bogans, a former 6-5 wing, spent 11 seasons in the league with eight teams. He was an assistant with the New York Knicks in 2019-20.

“To see (Lewis) want to get into coaching and be able to give him an opportunity to get his feet wet,” Casey said. “Listening to him talk to players, watching him demonstrating things with players, takes me back a long time because it was the same thing I was saying to him a long time ago, but he’s been great.

“Keith Bogans has been great, so those two guys give advice from a different area — from a former player’s standpoint, but saying the same thing a coach would say.”

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Stewart said during Monday’s media day that he wants to be interchangeable in the frontcourt and he envisions playing alongside any of Detroit’s other centers, including Duren, Marvin Bagley III and Nerlens Noel. As an emerging big man, capable of knocking down the open 3, Stewart said he looks at Al Horford as someone he tries to mimic from a shooting perspective.

“He’s able to do it all at the (power forward) or (center) spot,” Stewart said. “He’s able to space the floor, he’s able to shoot and he’s a pretty good decision maker.”

Casey, 65, has a coaching staff comprised of assistants Rex Kalamian, Jerome Allen, Jim Moran, Bill Bayno, D.J. Bakker, head coach of the Motor City Cruise, and senior advisor/player development coach John Beilein. The Pistons also added Brittni Donaldson during the offseason as an assistant coach/director of coaching analytics.

“We have a solid coaching staff, guys are doing a great job,” Casey said. “It just takes a little time to understand what we’re trying to do, what we’re trying to say, our philosophy. My style of coaching, their style of coaching meshing together, understanding the roles and responsibilities of each other. It just takes time. We’re all human. We’re all different, but they’re doing a heck of a job now and they did a heck of a job this summer.”


Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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