The must-read Blazer article of the day is from the Oregonian's Jason Quick:
Marc Iavaroni will become the next Trail Blazers coach, The Oregonian has learned, after the team offered the Phoenix Suns assistant the position late Thursday.
Iavaroni, 48, will accept the job as early as today, a source close to the talks said, exactly one week after he was interviewed for the first time at the Chicago pre-draft camp.
Blazers general manager John Nash insisted late Thursday that the job has not been offered to anybody. Earlier Thursday, owner Paul Allen said the team possibly would wait until after the June 28 draft -- where the Blazers have the third pick of the first round -- to hire a coach.
There's lots more in that article too, including some more draft posturing from Portland.
In the meantime, let's get to know Marc ("believe it or not, my first name is misspelled more often than my last") Iavaroni.He has been on the sidelines in the NBA for eight years, in Phoenix for the last three, under Pat Riley in Miami for three, and under Mike Fratello in Cleveland for two. Iavaroni was an assistant in college, at Bowling Green for two years. He played for Philadelphia, San Antonio, and Utah. He played for five years in Europe, including with D'Antoni in Italy.
John Nash described Iavaroni this way a few weeks ago to Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune:
"Marc is one of the better instructors of big men in our league today," Nash says. "He has a good basketball mind. He'll get consideration for some open head-coaching jobs. But until you've done it (been a head coach), you haven't done it."
A few days ago Iavaroni talked head coaching with the East Valley Tribune:
"Anybody who thinks they have creativity and good ideas and can help motivate others and teach wants to be a head coach," he said. "I go back and forth between when to obsess about it and when to say, you know what? It would be a great surprise.' "
The same article also has nice quotes from Phoenix Coach Mike D'Antoni and Amare Stoudemire, and ends with this from Iavaroni:
"I don't think you really know if you're ready," he said. "But I've played under great coaches, played with great players and coached great players. I'm as ready as anybody."
Known for helping big players like Amare Stoudemire develop, he does a great job explaining to Stan McNeal of the Sporting News how a fast break should be run:
"A thought requires a hesitation," Iavaroni says. "That can cost you your advantage. We want our guys to be the first to react."
Quick tells us that Zach Randolph liked working with him at a big man camp. Quick also says valued assistant Tim Grgurich will likely be pleased with the hire and might stay on.
On FoxSports.com Mike Kahn recently wrote:
Expect Suns top assistant Marc Iavaroni to quickly become a hot commodity on the coaching front. Don't be surprised if he's very high on the list of the Los Angeles Lakers, unless Phil Jackson surprises everyone and really does return to coach them.
The Arizona Republic points out that Iavaroni and Portland GM John Nash go way back: Iavaroni played for the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers when Nash was assistant GM.
As a player, his career was solid but unspectacular, except for his role on the 1983 title-winning Sixers. He was drafted in the third round by the Knicks in 1978, and his playing career was, well, statistically similar to that of Michael Doleac. Sixers Online remembers him as "a bruising forward" when he helped the team in 1983.
The bio from basketballreference.com are as follows:
Marcus John Iavaroni (Marc)
Height: 6' 8'' Weight: 210
Born: 9/15/1956, in Jamaica, NY, USA
High School: Kennedy, in Plainview, NY
Iavaroni as quoted in an outdated article about when Coach Iavaroni joined the Phoenix Suns:
"I bring NBA experience as a player and as a coach. I think the fact that I've been out of the loop a little bit " I was out of the league for eight or nine years " I bring a respect and appreciation for what we have. It's more of a life-type of view than just, 'This is the NBA. We get this much per day. This is how we fly and where we stay.' I like to say I've been around the block a little bit."