Arkansas Rolls Out Welcome Mat, Tractors
The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have assigned second-year head coach Sam Mitchell to the Arkansas RimRockers of the NBA Development League. As a head coach with less than two years experience Mitchell is eligible to join the RimRockers without being waived by the Raptors.
“We feel this is a great opportunity for Sam to get some valuable coaching time,” said Raptors General Manager Rob Babcock. “Now that we have a veteran like Gene Keady on the bench Sam might not get enough coaching time to really progress into a better coach. This will give him game-experience that he might not have been able to get in Toronto.”
"Sure, Pape really opened our eyes as to the advantages of developing our talent in the D-League," said Senior Basketball advisor Wayne Embry. "Pape is averaging 21 points and 12 rebounds per game down there. We figure that Sam can probably make the same improvement in his coaching."
Embry went on to explain that the organization hasn't set any goals for Mitchell while he's in the NBDL but once the requisite improvement has been made Mitchell will be back on the sideline in Toronto.
"I'm not going to beat around the bush. We're expecting miracles. If Pape can average 21 points then Sam can learn to coach defense," claimed Embry. "We're not expecting him to come back to Toronto and be a Larry Brown or Gregg Popovich but he can at give us a Scott Skiles or at least -- at least -- Terry Stotts. Or maybe Stan Van Gundy. Uhhh... perhaps I've said too much."