The Austin Toros may have finished up their season in late April, but head coach Taylor Jenkins has remained plenty busy since then. The Toros established a single affiliation with the San Antonio Spurs back in 2007, and since then have developed an incredibly close relationship with their NBA parent franchise. The result has allowed Jenkins the opportunity to work closely with the organization.
Jenkins spoke with RidiculousUpside.com about his involvement with the Spurs since finishing up in Austin. "Coach Budenholzer put me in a position of advanced scouting for the team. (note: Jenkins boarded a flight to Miami for Game 7 just after our interview) I basically create small reports for the team to use. It has been a great opportunity for me, in fact, it is my first time scouting at the NBA level." Jenkins said.
Prior to his role as head coach for the Toros, Jenkins spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the team. His knowledge of the Toros' system has increased with every year, while also allowing the Dallas native to further his relationship with the Spurs' brass. Based upon his experience in Austin and around the Spurs organization, Jenkins has most notably helped with the growth of specific players.
Cory Joseph, along with Nando de Colo and Aron Baynes, spent time under Jenkins' guidance this past season. Joseph continued his maturing process for the second consecutive season, along with assignment players Colo and Baynes. It allowed Jenkins to develop a special relationship with each player, and a sneak peak at their potential impact for the Spurs organization.
"All three of them are young and will hopefully be apart of this club going forward. Look at a guy like Cory (Joseph), he's spent the majority of his career in Austin, but when his window opened he seized the opportunity. Everyone is excited with how much he's progressed. He told me that his goal right now is to keep his backup spot on the Spurs roster." Jenkins added.
After winning the NBADL title two seasons ago, Jenkins led the team back to the playoffs and were ultimately knocked out in the semifinals. While defeating the top-seeded team in the playoffs (Bakersfield Jam) and making it to the semifinals were two worthy accomplishments for his squad, Jenkins felt they had another success as well. "In addition to our achievements as a team, another major win this past season was the progress of Joseph." Jenkins explained.
Obviously, the Spurs run to the Finals has been the main concern for the Jenkins and the entire staff. However, after the Finals conclude, Jenkins and the Spurs will move right into their draft preparation and typical offseason scheduling. Jenkins said that he will take part in helping with the veteran mini-camp, and also looks to work in some fashion at NBA Summer League. In short, the head coach will remain busy even after the Spurs wrap up their postseason run.