The Hawks announced Friday that they have hired former 76ers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce as their new head coach. That status created a couple of predictors about who their 13th head coach in franchise history would become.
The Hawks are expected to go into rebuilding mode after finishing last season with a 24-58 record. The Hawks announced Friday they had agreed to terms on a deal with Pierce. He spent two years as an assistant to Lionel Hollins on the Grizzlies before that, one year under Keith Smart with the Warriors prior to going to Memphis and three years working with Mike Brown and the Cavaliers to start his National Basketball Association coaching career.
After the Hawks parted ways with Mike Budenholzer on April 25, they started the interview process focusing on coaches who had a background in player development, to help with the rebuild that is now happening.
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Rebuilding franchises often times look for first-time National Basketball Association coaches to lead their teams through the tough years.
Which brings us to the present: With the Hawks embracing a full-scale rebuild, Pierce's experiences with player development and exercising patience with personnel should easily transfer to what's going on with Atlanta.
Pierce, whose playing career intersected with two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash at Santa Clara (1994-98), had been an assistant coach at one college stop (Santa Clara) and four NBA franchises (Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Warriors, 76ers), prior to accepting the head-coaching job with the Hawks.
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Nothing is official yet, but expect the Hawks to name Pierce as their head coach in the coming days. He also spent time as an assistant coach for his alma mater, Santa Clara University before moving to the pro ranks. After spending time with ownership, it's clear they have a deep investment in and commitment to making this a model organization.
When outlining his plan last month to search for Budenholzer's replacement, Schlenk emphasized he wanted to hire a coach best-suited to work with young players. The Hawks have three first-round picks, so the rebuilding effort will gain momentum.
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