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View Full Version : Kevin O'Neill will replace Ron Rothstein on the bench



Kegboy
07-30-2004, 11:15 PM
http://www.indystar.com/articles/3/166499-3783-102.html


O'Neill to join Pacers as coach next week


By Mark Montieth
mark.montieth@indystar.com
July 31, 2004


When the Toronto Raptors fired head coach Kevin O'Neill in April after one season, it seemed only a matter of time before he was reunited with Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle.

That time will become official early next week, when O'Neill signs a three-year contract that matches the time remaining on Carlisle's deal.

O'Neill replaces Ron Rothstein on Carlisle's staff of assistants. Rothstein was hired by former Pacers coach Isiah Thomas a year ago and was retained when Carlisle replaced Thomas in August. He had just a one-year guarantee, however.

"I was hopeful that I could work out a way to keep Ronnie here as well, but unfortunately it was not possible," Carlisle said.

Rothstein, in a prepared statement, praised the Pacers organization and echoed Carlisle's explanation.

"When Rick retained me on the staff last year, he made it clear that it would be a one-year situation with no guarantees for the future," Rothstein said. "Unfortunately we were unable to make it work this year."

Carlisle and O'Neill have a close personal and coaching chemistry. They worked together for two seasons in Detroit when Carlisle was head coach of the Pistons, then went their separate ways last season.

O'Neill was hired as the Raptors' head coach after Detroit let Carlisle go to hire Larry Brown. O'Neill's team finished 33-49, an improvement from the 24-58 record of the previous season.

The Raptors revamped their front office after the season, releasing O'Neill and general manager Glen Grunwald.

Carlisle said Mike Brown will continue in his role as associate head coach, while O'Neill's job description will be general in nature.

"He's a guy who is among the very best in basketball," Carlisle said of O'Neill. "I felt if I had an opportunity to bring back, I'd do that. He's great in all areas and I have a real comfort level with him.

"He's second to none in work ethic. He's great with players and has a very broad knowledge of the game."

O'Neill, 47, was a college head coach for 14 seasons before moving to the NBA. His final three stops were at Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern.

Well, it's no secret that I'm a big Rothstein fan, and that I'm not a huge fan of O'Neill, so I can't say I'm terribly pleased.

I've highlighted some stuff above that I want to take a closer look at. The first one, Rick says that he himself was not able to work it out. What does that mean? I could see a case where management wouldn't want to pay for another assistant, but Rick indicates that it was up to him to keep Ron? Strange. Rothstein's statement is similarly vague. Of course, it could just be that Ron didn't want to get demoted.

As for the last statement I bolded, well, that's not what we heard out of Toronto, is it. Granted, we all know the same thing happened with Rick in Detroit, and from all accounts he's been fine, but I'm leery of having them on the bench together. And I hate to bring it up, but word was, back when Bird was coaching, it was the second season when players really got sick of Rick. Maybe I'm paranoid. I'm just glad Mike's still here.

As for Rothstein, I sure hope he catches on somewhere. I think he'd make a great mentor assistant for a young coach, and he's a tremendous defensive asset. His Miami team in the WNBA was the best defensive team I've ever seen, all the more because it was an expansion team with no talent. Wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Isiah gives him a call.

Unclebuck
07-31-2004, 12:01 AM
Not surprised by this at all in fact I think I was one of many that predicted Ron Rothstein would be gone.

First, Ron was not a Carlisle hire. That is not to say that Ron is not a great assistant coach because he is and it is not to say that Rick does not know that Ron is a great assistant because Rick knows that also.

The fact of the matter you just can't have Ron, Kevin and Mike Brown as your three assistants. Just not a good mix.


Kegboy, that might not have been what we heard out of Toronto but that is exactly what we heard out of Detroit when Kevin left. Kstat correct me if I am wrong, but the Piston players seemed to be more upset about Kevin leaving than Rick leaving. When the Raps played the Pistons for the first time last season it just seemed to me thatthe Pisotns players had more love for O'Neill than they did for Rick.

It might just be that O'Neill is a better assistant coach than head coach. granted the raptors players weren't too thrilled with O'Neill, but I think the Raptors were well coached especially on the defensive end, they played hard, but they were just not very good last season.

Anthem
07-31-2004, 12:06 AM
The entire situation in Toronto was a mess. There's been open factions in the front office since before Isiah was hired there.

Unclebuck
07-31-2004, 09:31 AM
The article that Kegboy linked must have been an earlier edition, here is an updated version it has a few more quotes.




O'Neill reunites with old friend

Former Raptors coach happy to be back with Carlisle as assistant on Pacers' staff.


By Mark Montieth
mark.montieth@indystar.com
July 31, 2004

When the Toronto Raptors fired coach Kevin O'Neill in April after one season, it seemed only a matter of time before he was reunited with Rick Carlisle.

That time will become official early next week, when O'Neill signs a three-year contract that matches the time remaining on Carlisle's deal.

O'Neill replaces Ron Rothstein on Carlisle's staff of assistants. Rothstein was hired by former Pacers coach Isiah Thomas a year ago and was retained when Carlisle replaced Thomas in August. He had just a one-year guarantee.

"I was hopeful that I could work out a way to keep Ronnie here as well, but unfortunately it was not possible," Carlisle said.

Rothstein, in a prepared statement, praised the Pacers and echoed Carlisle's explanation.

"When Rick retained me on the staff last year, he made it clear that it would be a one-year situation with no guarantees for the future," Rothstein said. "Unfortunately we were unable to make it work this year."

Rothstein, who lives in Miami in the offseason, couldn't be reached for comment. Carlisle said he is working to help find him a position with another team.

Carlisle and O'Neill have a close personal and coaching chemistry that made their reunion seem inevitable. They've known each other since they were teenagers in upstate New York. Each was the best man at the other's wedding. And they enjoyed working together for two seasons in Detroit.

They talked by telephone virtually every day last season, sometimes just before taking the court for a game.

O'Neill is by nature much less restrained than Carlisle, but they share the same philosophies about basketball.

"We have two different personalities when we're out with other people, but when we're together, we're the same type of person," O'Neill said during the season.

"I can loosen Rick up a little bit. Believe me. Rick is not quite as serious-minded as you might think."

O'Neill was hired as the Raptors' head coach after Detroit fired Carlisle to hire Larry Brown. O'Neill's team finished 33-49, an improvement from the 24-58 record of the previous season.

The Raptors revamped their front office after the season, releasing O'Neill and general manager Glen Grunwald.

Carlisle said Mike Brown will continue in his role as associate head coach and remain in charge of the defense.

O'Neill's job description will be more general.

"He's a guy who is among the very best in basketball," Carlisle said of O'Neill. "He's great in all areas, and I have a real comfort level with him."

"What he is is the best worker I've been around, and the best guy at working with players and helping them get better and always being there for them."

O'Neill, 47, was a college head coach for 14 seasons before moving to the NBA. His final three stops were at Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern. He joined the New York Knicks as an assistant coach four years ago, then moved to Detroit to work with Carlisle for two years.

He said he is eager to return to working as an assistant coach, a less political job than head coaching.

"I'll give you one word: enjoyable," O'Neill said. "It will be enjoyable.

"My favorite thing in the whole world is working players out. Being a head coach is a different thing than being an assistant coach. I'm looking forward to it."

MSA2CF
08-01-2004, 08:40 PM
I like Ron. I wish him luck & am somewhat sad to see him go. But he's just an assistant coach, so it's no real big deal. Good luck Ron.