(Former) NBA D-League Coach Vitaly Potapenko Joins Cleveland Cavaliers

Santa Cruz Warriors

Former NBA big man turned NBADL coach Vitaly Potapenko has received a call-up of his own. He'll re-join the Cleveland Cavaliers, this time, as a player-development coach.

The NBA D-League isn't just for players anymore.

With so many teams in The Association developing closer relationships with their minor league affiliates, the NBADL is now not only used to develop and nurture the talent of simply players, but those of front office executives and coaches too.

Following a season during which he helped the Santa Cruz Warriors celebrate its first year in town (and helping lead them to an NBADL Finals appearance in the meantime), D-League assistant coach Vitaly Potapenko has received a call-up of his own.

Potapenko will re-join the NBA coaching ranks (he previously served as an assistant with the Indiana Pacers) as he makes his way back to Cleveland. An NBA veteran of eleven seasons, the big man spent parts of three seasons with the Cavaliers, from 1996-1999. Fast-forward to 2013, and he's come back to the team as a player-development assistant on returning head coach Mike Brown's ever-growing staff.

Such a role should be a perfect for Potapenko, as he obviously worked heavily with younger players who looked to hone their skills this past season in the NBADL. Not only are the Cavaliers a young team to begin with, but the organization was also an active one with regard to utilizing their D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge. The former player-turned coach's knowledge in both developing young talent and getting the most out of them during minor-league assignments will undoubtedly come in handy for a Cavaliers squad that is undeniably still trying to work its up from the NBA cellar.

With Potapenko earning himself a new gig, some wonder if the D-League's other proven coaches will be next in line.

For more on what kind of duties the former big man handled as an assistant for Santa Cruz this year, check out RidiculousUpside.com's interview with him from earlier in the season.

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