The Miami Heat have today confirmed the addition of a number of new faces to their coaching staff, with no less than five people being handed new roles in South Florida as the franchise prepares for the post-LeBron James era.
The standout name amongst the new hires is former Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Keith Smart who arrives as one of Eric Spoelstra's new assistant coaches following the demotion of both Ron Rothstein and Bob McAdoo earlier this summer.
As per the Heat's official press release:
"The Miami HEAT announced today several front office hirings, including Keith Smart as Assistant Coach, Chris Quinn as Assistant Coach/Player Development, Brandon Gilliam as Assistant Trainer/Director of Rehabilitation, Wes Brown as Assistant Trainer and Eric Foran as Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach."
There are also in-franchise promotions for the likes of David Fizdale (to Assistant Head Coach), Juwan Howard (Assistant Coach) and Dan Craig (Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development).
Keith Smart struggled during his times as an NBA head coach, posting a combined record of 93 wins to 170 defeats whilst with admittedly mediocre rosters at the Cavaliers (2002-03), Golden State Warriors (2011-12), and the Kings (2011-13).
But whilst he may have failed to make the transition to top dog over the last decade he has undoubted pedigree as an assistant - honed over seven years at the Warriors, something Eric Spoelstra and the Heat hierarchy clearly took note of.
The other new assistant coach, Brian Quinn, already has an association with the Miami Heat having been part of Spoelstra's first roster during his spell as a player at the franchise between 2006-2009.
Quinn's playing career only came to an end in July 2013 when he was waived by the Cavaliers and perhaps the Heat are hoping he can distill some of his knowledge onto the relatively newly formed Miami roster.
The changes on the coaching side echo those made on the court itself by the Miami Heat this offseason.
LeBron James', following his shock decision to relocate back to Cleveland, was joined by a host of role players and rotation men in heading for the Heat exit door following their defeat in the 2014 NBA Finals.
Coming in have been the likes of Brit Luol Deng, veteran Danny Granger, and Josh McRoberts whilst they picked up hyped rookie Shabazz Napier in the 2014 draft.
With changes on and off the court it remains to be seen just how quickly all the new faces can gel, but with training camp just a matter of weeks away it won't be too long until we get the first indications.
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