The one constant in the NBA D-League is change. And, while rosters have yet to start taking shape in earnest, there have been plenty of coaching moves over the past month. So, with summers largely in our rear-view, let's take stock of the six coaching changes that occurred while we are all at the beach.
The last time we saw Abelson, he was an assistant for the NBA D-League Select Team during NBA Summer League, a team that had its best-ever finish in Las Vegas (4-1). Since then, the head coach of that staff, Alex Jensen, has taken a job with the Utah Jazz and fellow assistant Casey Hill (see below) was promoted to head coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors. All this begs the question, what was in the water in Vegas?
Last season, Abelson coached the Sioux Falls Skyforce and oversaw a 10-win improvement from the year before. Abelson was officially hired by Reno on September 5.
| Abdur-Rahim Named Reno GM
Bjorkgren coached the Santa Cruz Warriors last year and led them to the NBA D-League Finals, where they lost to Rio Grande Valley in two games. Rio Grande Valley's coach? Nick Nurse, who Bjokrgren served under in Iowa prior to his time in the Dakota Wizards/Santa Cruz Warriors organization. Bjorkgren spent two years as the head coach of that organization and amassed a 61-39 record.
Prior to his time in Santa Cruz and Dakota, Bjorkgren spent three years in Iowa in varying roles. In that time, Iowa posted a combined 124-76 record. Bjorkren was hired on August 22.
| Bjorkgren Leaves for Iowa
| Bjorkgren at Finals
Delany was the first hire that the Miami Heat made for Sioux Falls after the two organizations became single affiliates this offseason. Delany has a long history with the Heat -- he actually started as a video coordinator for four seasons before spending the past six seasons as a full-time advanced scout. Interestingly, the video coordinator role he had was also a former job of current Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra, someone Delany considers a mentor. Delany was hired on August 19.
A former Division II basketball standout at Saint Anselm College, he finished basketball career as the school’s career leader with 731 assists.
| Delany Q&A
| Watch Delany Press Conference
Hill replaces Nate Bjorkgren who took the head position in Iowa (see above). Hill was a member of Bjorkgren's staff for the past two years and helped the Dakota Wizards/Santa Cruz Warriors post a 61-39 regular season record in that span.
Hill, who was hired on August 23, spent part of his summer coaching as an assistant for the NBA D-League Select Team in NBA Summer League. That team went 4-1, its best finish ever, and has proven to be a launching pad for several coaches and players.
| Hill Q&A
| Watch Hill Interview
MacKinnon is swapping coasts this year. Most recently, MacKinnon, who will become the sixth head coach in L.A. D-Fenders history, spent two seasons at the helm of the Springfield Armor, where he amassed a 48-55 record, highlighted by a 30-23 season in 2011-12.
MacKinnon, who sports more than 30 years of coaching and scouting experience at the professional and collegiate levels, guided the Colorado 14ers to an NBA D-League championship in 2008-09. He was hired on August 7.
| MacKinnon Ready to Embrace D-Fenders History
The Brooklyn Nets organization seems to favor former point guards. After hiring the recently retired Jason Kidd to coach the big league club, the Nets have named Overton, an 11-year NBA vet and former point guard himself, the head coach of their single affiliate, the Springfield Armor. In his playing days, Overton had three different stints with the Nets and holds career averages of 4.5 points and 2.1 assists.
Overton takes over for the Armor -- his first head coaching experience -- after spending five years on the Nets’ staff as an assistant coach and player development coach. He also worked as an assistant coach on Phil Martelli’s staff at Saint Joseph’s and in a player development role for the Philadelphia 76ers. Overton, who takes over for Bob MacKinnon, was hired on August 20.
| Overton Excited For New Role