Ryan Bowen was added to the Sacramento Kings coaching staff today. Bowen will now be responsible for on-court player progression. He will be working alongside assistant and 1991 Slam Dunk Champion Dee Brown.
The move, announced today in a NBA press release, completes a seemingly endless overhaul of the coaching staff. The staff has recently brought on assistants Brendan Malone, Corliss Williamson, Chris Jent and Micah Nori to the new regime.
Bowen most recently worked with the Denver Nuggets, where he was an assistant for the last two years. Before that, he was a video coordinator for his alma mater Iowa University. Bowen excelled as a former player at the college level and the NBA. In his senior year at Iowa, he averaged a respectable 14 points per game. He played 10 seasons in the NBA for four different teams, mostly with the Nuggets.
It’s one more potentially solid hire for the Kings. The organization has enveloped newly minted head coach Michael Malone in comfort by hiring tons of assistants with remarkable basketball knowledge. That’s going to be crucial for a staff that was completely re-built overnight. If the Kings want to have success this year, the staff will have to make leaps and bounds in player development while setting up a stable system.
In the end, I know everybody in Sacramento wanted a splashy big-name hire. The Kings fan base wanted a coach that came stocked with tenure and success like Phil Jackson. They sought after Brian Shaw and Stan Van Gundy.
Instead, the new ownership went with a ‘no new friends’ mentality. That’s because nearly all of the personnel and player moves have had two common denominators: they were all recently affiliated with either the Golden State Warriors or the Denver Nuggets.
Current owner Vivek Ranadive was a minority owner of the Warriors last year. Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro already knows the scouting report on his former Nuggets team because he’s the architect behind their recent rise. Ranadive said the next manager would have to have experience and success running a mid-market team — something he backed up with the hire of D’Alessandro.
While I’ve never been a huge fan of the move to hire ‘your own people’, it also comes as no surprise. Also, Ranadive did his homework on both searches for a coach and manager. And at the end of the day, if the Kings are being modeled on the Nuggets’ and Warriors’ blueprint, then I’m all for it. Those teams are playoff contenders and winners.
Playoffs? In Sacramento? Nothing wrong with that.