Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported yesterday that the head coach of the Idaho Stampede, Bryan Gates, "is expected to be a strong candidate for a spot on the staff."
This is great for Coach Gates, as he won the D-League coach of the year award for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, and we thought he probably should have taken home this past seasons award as well.
Now that I'm in the biz (shameless plug #2 of about 46,535 to come), I can't give away too many inside secrets of the D-League. However, I can say that if you're looking for a developer of talent, Gates is probably the best coach available for this job. I've witnessed him develop numerous players over the past few seasons, but the best example to give, player wise, is Mike Taylor.
Taylor, as you'll remember, is the first ever player to be drafted from the D-League to the NBA. What you may not remember, however, is that he was born and raised (rather drafted and developed) under Coach Gates in Boise. If you'll look at Iceman's fan post from yesterday, you'll notice that Taylor's numbers best transferred from the D-League to the NBA of all of the players looked at. I'm not trying to split the atom here, but good coaching probably had something to do with this.
Other players that have played for Gates in Idaho you may be familiar with: Randy Livingston, Lance Allred, Luke Jackson, Mouhamed Sene, Julius Hodge, Brent Petway, Josh McRoberts, Mickael Gelabale, Taurean Green, Coby Karl, Kevin Burleson, Jermareo Davidson, Dwayne Jones, and Nathan Jawai. The majority of these players have either been called up as a member of the Stampede or were assigned to the Stampede to get some development under Coach Gates.
Seems to me he may know what he's doing.
H/T to Ziller over at Sactown Royalty.