Another D-League Coach Gets An NBA Gig: Former Austin Toros Assistant Coach Roy Rogers Joins Nets

There's a lot of times when I realize that I know very, very little about basketball.  One of those times was a late season media session for the Toros. A couple of the assistants on the crew and I were talking about the upcoming playoffs and I mentioned how I thought the Wizards would beat the Cavs in five games. Maybe six. Suddenly, I heard this big booming voice behind me.

"You're going to take that team, without Arenas at 100%, over LeBron?"

It was assistant coach Roy Rogers.

"Well, yeah, I mean, when you look at the stats and the matchups..." I began.

"I'm taking LeBron.  I don't care what the matchups are.  That man is a difference maker.  That kind of power?  The Wizards don't have anybody to stop that."

Two weeks later, after the Cavs had eliminated the Wizards, I slinked up to him at the Toros first playoff game. Rogers laughed.

"Hey, could have gone either way." he said.

"But you knew it wouldn't." I replied.

He just shrugged.

****************************************************************************************

If you ask the Toros' players about him, particularly their resident Spurs draft pick, Ian Mahinmi, you get glowing reviews..

"He's done so much to help my game, to get me mentally ready to play here." Mahinmi told me late last season.

Coach Quin Snyder absolutely raved about the work Rogers had done.

"He's got a great mind for the game, he's always ready to work.  We wouldn't have come as far as we have with Ian, and with the rest of the guys, if we hadn't had Roy on staff."

I had talked to a D-League source who had indicated that Rogers was on the short list for the Rio Grand Valley and Idaho Stampede jobs last season.  Rogers likely could have gotten the Reno gig (anytime you want to drop that name on us, D-League. EN-E-TIME).  But it turns out he's got bigger fish to fry.

Roger has been hired as an assistant coach for the New Jersey Nets, joining Coach Lawrence Frank's staff.

Man, now I get to ask him about having to scout LeBron.

Congratulations to one of the nicest D-League guys I've met, and a terrific coach.

We'll have an interview with Coach Rogers next week.

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