After recently losing longtime assistant coach Johnnie Bryant to a promotion with the New York Knicks, it was only a matter of time before the Utah Jazz hired a replacement.
Actually, they’ve apparently hired two.
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder is filling the vacancy by adding Dell Demps and Keyon Dooling to his staff, The Salt Lake Tribune has confirmed. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was first to report the moves.
Both are familiar faces to Snyder, if perhaps unconventional choices for his bench, given that neither has ever served as an NBA coach in any capacity.
The 50-year-old Demps is best known for his time as the New Orleans Pelicans’ general manager from 2010-19. He and Snyder previously worked together in the then-D League with the Austin Toros (the affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs) between 2007-10, where Demps served as GM and Snyder as the head coach.
Per Wojnarowski, since his ouster from New Orleans’ front office last year, Demps has been increasingly considering a transition to the coaching ranks, and had apparently spent some time with Snyder and the Jazz staff this season, attending practices in Utah.
Demps is also a former player, who appeared in 20 NBA games between 1993-97, with the Warriors, Spurs, and Magic.
After playing for Snyder at the University of Missouri, Dooling played in the NBA from 2000-13, with seven teams. He has career averages of 7.0 points and 2.2 assists in 728 career NBA games.
After his retirement, he began working with the NBA Players Association, where he has served as a wellness counselor and mental health advocate since 2014.