There have been a plethora of coaching departures and additions this summer, but the new assistant for the Atlanta Hawks is the most intriguing. Head coach Mike Budenholzer‘s new partner on the sidelines is a man named Neven Spahija. You’ve probably never heard of him, right? Well if you follow European basketball even in the slightest, then you know this man is legit.
Spahija brings a full resume of over 25 years of experience coaching European basketball clubs. He has won multiple championships and is renowned throughout the basketball world as an innovator for the sport. He was reportedly linked to a position with the San Antonio Spurs, for he and Gregg Popovich have known each other for quite a while. The two seasoned veterans coached against one another in an international friendly in 2006 and struck up a friendship.
The NBA is constantly morphing and searching for the next thing that will propel play forward and spike an increase in fan interest. More and more guys like Spahija are being sought after to provide an outside view of the game that has not been jaded by the brightness and glamor of the spotlight in the United States.
Atlanta’s new assistant coach will also be able to help the Hawks’ bench develop into very valuable assets, for he has spent his entire career with players of very different origins and backgrounds. German native Dennis Schroder and Macedonian Pero Antic will greatly benefit from the molding of European style play with that of the NBA.
Don’t expect Spahija to remain an assistant for very long, though. His extensive record of head coaching will certainly have him desiring to be at the helm once again, but this season will give him a lot of valuable experience in America. The Hawks are certainly looking forward to gaining knowledge and tactics from such an advanced basketball mind.
The fact that the Hawks were able to attract such a high profile coach is quite impressive, and folks around the basketball world are slowly altering their perspective of basketball in Atlanta. The club is on the rise and people are taking notice. The duo of Budenholzer and Spahija will be one of the best in the league. The two Popovich-like minds together have the ability to orchestrate something quite incredible with the current pieces in Atlanta. Look for the Hawks to run some very creative schemes in 2014-15.