After years working on the development side in the NBA, playing a key role in the rise of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Kristaps Porzingis (with the Thunder and Knicks, respectively), Josh Longstaff took his coaching talents to the G League this past season.
The up and coming mentor served as the head coach of the Erie BayHawks in 2017-18, leading a raw and unproven group to the franchise’s first division championship. Erie amassed a 28-22 record, and Coach Longstaff proved to be the perfect extension of the NBA parent club Atlanta Hawks’ vision for development.
After working closely with Mike Budenholzer last season, Longstaff will be merely an extension no longer. With the former Hawks coach now heading the Milwaukee Bucks, Longstaff will reportedly join his new staff as an assistant.
Erie G-League coach Josh Longstaff is finalizing a deal to join Mike Budenholzer's staff with the Milwaukee Bucks, league sources tell ESPN. Longstaff is working for Jeff Van Gundy and USA Basketball this summer. He had been player development coach w/ Knicks and Thunder in past.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 25, 2018
This is quite the promotion for Longstaff, and a well deserved one at that. Such a move only further validates the way the G League can help various levels of personnel bridge the gap to get where they need to be.
Keeping active this offseason, Longstaff is currently serving as an assistant coach to Jeff Van Gundy on Team USA’s World Cup Qualifying Team.