The NBA D-League's latest call up has been that of a coach, with the now, former, Austin Toros' head man Taylor Jenkins getting hired by the Atlanta Hawks.
But for those who followed Jenkins' path in the NBADL, such a promotion shouldn't be too surprising. After all, he'll be working for a familiar face in Atlanta.
Jenkins' served as an assistant coach for the Toros for four years (even winning a D-League championship in 2012) before rising up to the challenge of being the main man with the plan this past season. Following a steady playoff run with Austin, Jenkins' "offseason" began with him lending a helping hand to the San Antonio Spurs (the Toros' NBA affiliate) during the NBA Finals.
As a member of the Spurs' family for five total seasons, it's easy to understand the type of championship-caliber experience Jenkins was able to gain. As fate would have it, he seems to have made a positive impression on an important connection.
Here's what he told our very own Gino Pilato in an interview just last month:
"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.
Of course, Jenkins was referring to Mike Budenholzer, now the Hawks' head coach. During The Finals, Coach Budenholzer gave Jenkins specific tasks to take on, and apparently, he didn't disappoint. The Toros' coach also worked well with Spurs' assignees like Cory Joseph, Nando de Colo and Aron Baynes throughout the season. With Coach Bundenholzer finally earning that coveted head coaching opportunity, Jenkins will now have a new NBA opportunity as well.
Jenkins isn't the only D-League coach to have earned himself a call-up this past week. NBADL championship winning coach Nick Nurse has joined Dwane Casey's staff with the Raptors, and Idaho Stampede assistant & former NBA big man Scott Williams joined Larry Drew's staff on the Bucks as well.