Report: Detroit Pistons expected to add respected coaches Dan Burke, Mark Bryant

Detroit Bad Boys

The coaching staff around new Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams is beginning to take shape. First, the team reportedly signed former Houston Rockets head coach Stephen Silas as associate head coach. Now a new report indicates other faces likely to fill the front row of Monty’s bench at Little Caesars Arena.

In a lengthy story on the future of Chris Paul in Phoenix, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reports that former Philadelphia 76ers assistant Dan Burke will join Williams’ bench. Burke has only called three teams home since 1989 — the Blazers (1989-97), the Pacers (1997-2020) and the Sixers (2020-present). In that time, he’s gained the reputation as one of the top defensive assistants in basketball.

Burke had been an anomaly in coaching circles. He was hired to join Larry Bird’s staff in Indiana for the 1997-98 NBA season — the season featured on “The Last Dance,” when the Pacers took Chicago to the brink in the conference finals — and never left. In a league defined by rapid coaching turnover (and therefore, assistant coaching turnover), Burke was retained by six Pacers head coaches: Bird, Isiah Thomas, Rick Carlisle, Jim O’Brien, Frank Vogel and Nate McMillan.

Doc Rivers loves the idea of having offensive and defensive coordinators on his teams going back to his championship team in Boston under defensive assistant Tom Thibodeau. He hired Burke to be Philly’s defensive coordinator despite having no personal relationship with him because his reputation was so strong in league circles. In the past three seasons, Philly has ranked 2nd, 12th and 8th in defensive rating.

Fischer writes for Yahoo that “several assistant coaches” are expected to follow Monty to Detroit, including Mark Bryant and also potentially Jarrett Jack. Jack, a close friend of Chris Paul’s, was said to be “an integral coaching figure among Suns players.”

As far as coaches leaving the Pistons, it was announced Brittni Donaldson will move on after one season to join Quin Snyder’s coaching staff in Atlanta. Donaldson served as the director of coaching analytics.

DJ Bakker, who spent the past two season as the head coach for the Motor City Cruise, will move on to join Adrian Griffin’s coaching staff in Milwaukee. Previous to serving as the coach in the G League, he was an assistant under Dwane Casey in both Detroit and Toronto.

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