Houston has hired Keystone College's Nevada Smith as head coach of its D-League affiliate, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) October 21, 2013
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers have hired Keystone State's Nevada Smith as their new head coach.
Of course, the Vipers are not only the minor league affiliates of the Houston Rockets, but also the defending NBA D-League champions. Houston utilized the affiliate quite strategically last season, staying active and calling up the likes of Greg Smith and Tim Ohlbrecht, while also assigning players like Patrick Beverley and Royce White.
With that all in mind, the new coach stands to be an important player in helping develop some of the team's key up and coming contributors.
Such a hire shouldn't come as much of a surprise, however. Last week, Wojnarowski also reported that the Rockets were looking into a number of NCAA coaches to take charge of RGV. Prior to that, Villanova assistant turned Philadelphia 76ers assistant Billy Lange reportedly turned down the chance to coach the Vipers instead.
Needless to say, Smith immediately joins some impressive company. Both of RGV's previous head coaches have since moved on to assistant coaching gigs with NBA teams. Chris Finch works for the Rockets, and Nick Nurse was hired by the Raptors just this past offseason.