COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -– Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce was named to the USA Basketball Men’s National Team coaching staff today. Pierce replaces Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillian who withdrew because of scheduling conflicts.
Pierce joins Gregg Popovich’s USA National Team coaching staff that also features NBA head coach Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors) and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright as assistant coaches.
The coaching staff will lead the USA National Team in 2019-20, which will include the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China (Aug. 31-Sept. 15, 2019) and, if the USA qualifies, the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan (July 24-Aug. 9). The USA National Team will open its pre-World Cup training on Aug.5 in Las Vegas.
“Lloyd was an assistant coach at Philadelphia during the time I was serving there, and I got to know him. He has made great progression in his coaching career with stops at Cleveland, Golden State and Memphis, and then in Philadelphia before landing the head coaching job with the Hawks last year,” said Jerry Colangelo, who has served as the managing director of USA Basketball Men’s National Team program since 2005. “He has demonstrated the ability in particular to be an outstanding defensive coach. Also, it was evident during our time together in Philadelphia that he was a strong leader, players respected him a great deal. I think we’re fortunate to have someone of his abilities. I think he’s really a good addition.”
The 32-nation 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup competition will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in eight cities in China.
The United States, two-time defending World Cup champion and FIBA’s No. 1 world ranked team, was drawn into Group E and will play its first round games in Shanghai. Also drawn into Group E were Czech Republic, Japan and Turkey.
“It's an honor to receive this opportunity to represent our country and to work with such great coaches and staff,” said Pierce. “My family and I are excited about and committed to enjoying this journey.” Completing in 2018-19 his first season as an NBA head coach, Pierce was named the 13th full-time head coach in Hawks history on May 11, 2018. In his first season with Atlanta, he led the club to a five win improvement over 2017-18 and he and his staff were instrumental in the development of rookies Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman, along with second-year big man John Collins.
Pierce, 42, came to the Hawks following five years as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers, who finished the 2017-18 season third in the Eastern Conference with a 52-30 mark and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Under Pierce’s guidance, the Sixers’ defense led the NBA in field goal percentage defense (.434), ranked second in 3-point percentage allowed (.342) and was third in defensive rating (102.0). Two Philadelphia players, Robert Covington (First Team) and Joel Embiid (Second Team), earned NBA All-Defensive selections.
Pierce joined the Sixers after two seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he was assistant coach- player development, helping lead the Grizzlies to back-to-back playoff appearances and the Western Conference Finals in 2013.
He spent the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors after three years as assistant coach-player development with Cleveland (2007-10), where the Cavaliers made three playoff appearances and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009.
Prior to his NBA coaching career, Pierce was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Santa Clara University, from 2002-07. The San Jose, California, native played four seasons for the Broncos, where he teamed with two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash.