Timberwolves Name Thornton, Kalamian, Taylor and Dzikic Assistant Coaches

Timberwolves Name Thornton, Kalamian, Taylor and Dzikic Assistant Coaches

September 15, 2005
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has named Bob Thornton, Rex Kalamian, Vince Taylor, and Aleksandar Dzikic assistant coaches. The four join Johnny Davis on first-year head coach Dwane Casey's coaching staff. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“We have added a good mix of coaches who bring experience from a variety of levels of college and professional basketball,” said Timberwolves head coach Dwane Casey. “Each of these men brings a unique perspective.”

Thornton joins the Timberwolves after serving as an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls in 2002-03 and spending the 2003-04 campaign as an assistant coach and then a scout for the Bulls. Prior to joining the Bulls, Thornton was head coach of the NBDL's Huntsville Flight in 2001-02. In 2000-01, Thornton was coach of the CBA's Quad City Thunder, where he was also responsible for all basketball personnel decisions and player recruitment. He was an assistant coach for the CBA Champion Yakima Sun Kings in 1999-2000.

A fourth round selection (87th overall) by the New York Knicks in 1984, Thornton played for five teams: New York (1985-86 - 1987-88), Philadelphia (1987-88 - 1989-90), Minnesota (1990-91), Utah (1991-92) and Washington (1995-96). Additionally, he played three seasons in the Italian A-1 League with Rome, Siena and Pavia.

Kalamian comes to Minnesota after serving as an assistant coach for player development for the Denver Nuggets last season. He coached the Timberwolves' entry in the 2005 Minnesota Summer League at Target Center. Prior to joining the staff in Denver, he served as a West Coast scout for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2003-04. Additionally, Kalamian spent 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. He began his career with the Clippers as an assistant to the scouting department in 1992 before being promoted to video coach in 1994.

Prior to joining the Clippers, Kalamian was an assistant coach for his former team at East Los Angeles College for two seasons. He led the South Coast Conference in three-point field goal percentage during the 1988-89 season.

Taylor spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Louisville prior to joining Casey's staff in the Twin Cities. Before joining the Louisville staff in 1998, Taylor was an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh (1997-98) and briefly at the University of Wyoming (1998). Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Taylor spent 13 seasons playing professional basketball in Europe, including the last two as a player/assistant coach in the Belgium professional league. Additionally, he averaged 3.1 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in 31 contests for the Knicks in 1982-83, after being selected by the team in the second round (33rd overall) of the 1982 NBA Draft.

A standout guard at Duke University, Taylor earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference and honorable All-America honors as a senior (1981-82) after averaging 20.3 points per game. During Taylor's collegiate career, the Blue Devils won the 1979 ACC regular-season championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice (1979 and 1980) and National Invitational Tournament once (1981).

Dzikic (pronounced Jee-KEECH) comes to the Timberwolves with a lengthy international basketball resume. He becomes the first NBA assistant coach with no prior coaching experience in the United States at either the collegiate or professional level. Additionally, he becomes just the second European native to become an NBA assistant coach, following the Detroit Pistons' Igor Stefan Kokoskov.

Dzikic has spent the last 14 years as an assistant coach for Partizan Belgrade in Yugoslavia. He served as an assistant coach for the Timberwolves' entry in the 2005 Minnesota Summer League at Target Center. He has also spent time in summer leagues working with the coaching staffs of the San Antonio Spurs and Seattle SuperSonics.

Additionally, the team announced that Brent Haskins has been promoted to assistant coach/advance scout after serving in the latter capacity for the last three seasons.