The Latest: According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the Brooklyn Nets are interested in former Bucks coach and former NBA point guard Scott Skiles for their head coaching vacancy.
The Skinny: After being selected 22nd overall by the Bucks in the 1986 Draft (aka The Len Bias draft), Skiles had a serviceable ten-year stint in the NBA as a backup point guard, which included him breaking the single-game assist record (30) in 1990. Injuries forced him overseas to Greece in 1996, where he went to play but took over coaching duties midseason. Skiles’s squad did better than expected, and he parlayed that into an NBA assistant job the next season under Danny Ainge in Phoenix. He took over for Ainge 20 games into the 1999-200 season and led the Suns to back to back playoff appearances in 2000 and 2001. The 2001 offseason saw the departure of Jason Kidd from the Suns, and Skiles resigned just 51 games into the Stephon Marbury era in Phoenix.
Skiles, who developed a reputation as a defensive guru and master of the Xs and Os, resurfaced for a 3 1/2 year stint in Chicago (2003-2007), and most recently a 4 1/2 year run in Milwaukee (2008-2013). The feisty former floor general received the most praise for leading a marginally talented Milwaukee Bucks team to the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference in 2009-10. The Bucks wouldn’t make the playoffs again under Skiles and 2010 Rookie of the Year runner-up Brandon Jennings failed to develop into an All-Star. Skiles resigned in January of 2013 amidst rumors that he had lost the locker room. Skiles has a career 443-433 coaching record in regular season games and an 18-24 record in playoff series, including two first round series victories.
The Verdict: No. Skiles certainly possesses the “toughness” Deron Williams said he wants in the next coachm and the team defense philosophy Billy King said he’s looking for. But Skiles has also had issues with communicating player roles and hasn’t maximized the productivity of his star players like Jason Kidd. After a season that included the drama with Williams and Avery Johnson, P.J. Carlesimo’s oft-frustrating rotations, and Crash saying he didn’t know what his role was three games into the playoffs, do you really want that guy?
Plus, the Nets already tried an undersized, overachieving former NBA point guard. How’d that turn out?