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Report: Raptors To Hire Sam Mitchell As Head Coach

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by MacBeth, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. MacBeth

    MacBeth Member

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    http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/TorontoSun/Sports/2004/06/26/514949.html


    Sat, June 26, 2004


    Raps get their man

    SOURCES SAY MITCHELL NEW COACH

    By BILL HARRIS, TORONTO SUN




    THE RAPTORS have decided to hire Sam Mitchell as their next head coach, according to NBA sources. Barring a last-minute change of heart, an official announcement could be made as early as Tuesday, following the Canadian federal election on Monday.

    Mitchell has been on the coaching staff with the Milwaukee Bucks for the past two seasons, but more recently he had been hired to be the lead assistant under coach/GM Bernie Bickerstaff with the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.

    Mitchell, a 13-year NBA player, was a candidate for the Raptors' coaching job last season, too, on the strong recommendation of then-Raptor and good buddy Antonio Davis.

    In fact, when the Raptors decided on the since-departed Kevin O'Neill as coach instead of Mitchell, it was the final nail in the coffin of the relationship between the Raptors and Davis. The Raptors traded Davis to the Chicago Bulls last December.

    Of course, the Raptors general manager last summer was Glen Grunwald. The onus this time falls upon new Raptors GM Rob Babcock.

    Mitchell, 40, is seen as one of the up-and-coming coaches in NBA circles. Just about everyone who knows Mitchell seems to agree he is going to be a good head coach, perhaps even a great one someday. But the question on everyone's lips is: "Is he ready?"

    Mitchell will inherit a Raptors roster that might undergo an overhaul before the team takes to the court again next fall. Vince Carter has requested a trade through his agent, but it's not known if the club will take that request seriously, or if it simply will wait for him to cool down.

    After Babcock took over on June 7, he said he would prefer to have a coach in place by the entry draft, but a more realistic target date was July 1. Babcock definitely wants a coach in place in time to monitor the Raptors' entry in the Minneapolis summer league, which takes place in the first week of July.

    Mitchell, a product of Mercer University, played in 994 regular-season games and 59 playoff games with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Indiana Pacers.

    Other candidates to coach the Raptors this time around included Seattle SuperSonics assistant Dwane Casey and Detroit Pistons assistant Mike Woodson.

    ---

    SAM'S THE MAN

    A look at Sam Mitchell, whom sources say will be the next coach of the Raptors:

    PLAYER: Drafted 54th overall by Houston Rockets in 1985; played in CBA, in France and joined expansion Minnesota Timberwolves in 1989; traded to Indiana in '92 and re-signed with T-Wolves in '95; finished his career among club's leaders in many categories; known as a solid player at both ends whom many felt would one day be an ideal head coach.

    COACH: Joined Milwaukee as an assistant in 2002; joined expansion Charlotte Bobcats; known as someone who can relate to today's players.

    DID YOU KNOW: Mitchell is fluent in French and volunteers time with Special Olympics.
     
  2. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

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    Time for an Ex-Rocket Head Coaches Listing:

    Sam Mitchell
    Pat Riley
    Rudy Tomjanovich
    Mike Dunleavy
    Johnny Egan

    Others?
     
  3. Franchise2001

    Franchise2001 Contributing Member

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  4. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    I remember when he was with Minnesota in the 97 first round w/the Rox and he started playing very rough, borderline dirty, then picked a fight with Kevin Willis, who was playing well at the time, to try to get him kicked out. Mitchell took some real cheap shots that series and then played like he was the victim, I lost a good deal of respect for him after that.
     
  5. KellyDwyer

    KellyDwyer Contributing Member

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    Babcock has been around Mitchell for years, so it makes sense.

    Seems a little early to jump from asst. coach to head man, but after seeing what Terry Porter did this season, who am I to argue?
     
  6. dharocks

    dharocks Contributing Member

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    Rick Adelman and Frank Johnson
     
  7. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    MacBeth, are you happy with the choice? Also, I was wondering if you were happy with the Raptors' draft. After employing the BBS' karma to keep the Raptors from getting screwed in the lottery, I thought the analysis I saw of what they did with their picks was ironic. Did they just waste another opportunity?
     
  8. Deuce

    Deuce Contributing Member
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    Good questions, I would love to hear a Raptors' fan take on the draft and coaching hire.
     
  9. bobrek

    bobrek Proud Mofo
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    Dave Wohl
     
  10. MacBeth

    MacBeth Member

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    Re: Mitchell. Sort of. Keep hearing good things, and he's one of those players you just knew would make a head coach one day, but his lack of experience is the question mark. Didn't stop others, like Porter, Rivers, Thomas, etc., but still, it's a question mark. The good side is that they've stopped the old coaching see-saw ( Friendly coach doesn't work, hire hard ass. Hard ass doesn;t work...etc.( that so many teams get caught up in. Mitchell, from all accounts, is pretty even handed.

    As for the draft pick, I'm back and forth. As i was hearing Araujo more and more in the last day or so leading up to the draft, I was initially peeved, as it seemed to be a 'character pick', which I generally think fail. But, once the 3 pg's were gone so quickly, any one of which, I believe, the Raps would have taken, it was a matter of need vs. player, and while I'm not generally into need picks, this one sort of makes sense. Araujo (sp?) was the true 5 after Okafor, and the Raps desperately needed some size and muscle in the paint, if for no other reason to save Bosh from banging night in and night out with guys 50 lbs heavier. He's not gonna have a huge upside, but he's gonna help the team.

    The obvious and greatest criticism is that, yeah, if he;s your guy good, but trade down, but I hear A) they tried, but backed out because rteports were other teams were trying to trade into the 1-12 range to get him. Utah said they'd have taken him at 14. So there wasn't much wiggle room, and if he's the only guy they could see playing serious minutes at the 5 for them, I guess you go with the guy you want, even if it's a bit early, rather than taking on a project if you trade down and miss him. He's tough as hell, a tireless worker, a legit 5 at 6-11, 290, and has some skill. What he doesn;t have is lift, but he's pretty quick and agile for his ize other than vertically. And he's got what the Rpas and Carter in particular have missed since Oakly left: toughness and a mean streak. So I'm not excited, not looking forward to great things, but he's likely to help the team a lot with the little things, and help Bosh a lot. He's s Brad Miller, Bill Lambeer, Rick Mahorn type, top end, and a Greg Ostertag type low end. Not sexy, not flashy, but a guy a team like the Raps need. Now they're extra assets can all be devoted to getting a point, of which there are many available.
     
  11. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

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    I hope this guy makes it. What a great story. Came to this country and worked as a janitor while in JC. Got a scholarship. Got married. Has a kid. Go guy go!
     
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