Jay Triano got a job:

Former Toronto Raptors coach Jay Triano, according to NBA coaching sources, is poised to join Stotts’ staff in Portland as opposed to coming to Dallas.

That means Triano and Los Angeles Lakers-bound Steve Clifford, two highly regarded assistants that sources say Carlisle was eyeing, are off the market.

And then he got another one:

Just as he leaves Canada, Triano is also set to become the Canadian national men’s team head coach for the second time. An announcement could happen next Thursday afternoon, according to sources.

Good for him, I can’t imagine coming in to work was any fun for him last year, knowing that your nationality is what’s keeping you employed.

What makes someone a good assistant coach, but a really bad head coach?

Some guesses:

  • You have a good relationship with players, and they can stomach you just fine…but in small doses only
  • You’re good at taking instruction and executing specific individual tasks like working a one-on-one shooting session, but wouldn’t actually identify the need for that session
  • You can evaluate and instruct how the X’s and O’s designed by someone else can/should be run, but can’t design them yourself
  • When the game is over, you’re great at telling what went right and what went wrong, but while it was happening, you were pretty much mute
  • ???

Related link regarding top leadership qualities.

  • WJF

    While Jay’s 3rd year as Toronto’s bench boss was not very good, the team on paper was pretty awful. Would it surprise people that Jay had a better win percentage in his first year with Toronto than Casey did?In year 2 Triano had the team 2 games under 500. While he may not have been the right fit for the Raps, he is a very good coach, this article is a very poor representation of his abilities.

    • cesco

      You can only compare Triano and Casey records in the post Bosh era . Triano 22-60 in 2010-2011 , Casey 23-43 last year , that in spite AB missing 35 of the 66 games . Triano may be a good assistant coach , as a head coach he was a failure , same as Mitchel .

      • cdub

        I wouldn’t call winning the teams only Atlantic tiltle and winning coach of the year a failure? 

        • cesco

          Well , please explain why he became an analyst instead of getting coaching jobs after he was fired .

          • sleepz

            He did get another coaching job. As an assistant with the Nets.

            • p00ka

              Where they were so impressed that they re-assigned him to a scouting position after 1 year.

      • Thetruth

        The irony is that we fired a somewhat talented motivator/leader in Sam Mitchell who was deficient when it came to basketball X & O’s for Triano who was great at X & O’s but couldn’t motivate a dog to fetch a bone.

      • Thetruth

        Oh and Casey won more games in a lockout shortened season lol!

        I really like Dwane Casey as a coach. I also love the fact he is credited for pushing to draft Terrence Ross. Casey is such a huge asset for our team.

      • j bean

        Sam is a better head coach than he is an assistant. Triano is a better suited as an assistant. 
        Having watched Sam as HC I thought he got a lot out of what he had to work with. Not a cool Master Zen Wizard that is player popular but old school tough who wears his heart on his sleeve.

    • Thetruth

      Casey’s team last season was arguably worse than the roster Triano had. For whatever reason, Triano lost the respect of his locker room. Honestly, I’m trying to be diplomatic about him because I really couldn’t stand him in his final season in Toronto.

      • Thetruth

        The way he would curse and disrespect the media was so lame and pathetic. The guy would curse on national television like he won two championships or something.

  • Brain Colangelo

    You are underselling assistant coaches. In Jay’s case the problem was that he is not an independent leader. He was led from above by bc and could not impose/get players to buy in to his vision if the raptors, that is if he had a vision.

    Lack of leadership, lack of vision..

    • Tinman

      How in the hell can you make that assumption?

      • Matt52

         Everything that is wrong is Colangelo’s fault.  Things that are right are not to Colangelo’s credit.  I thought everyone knew this? :)

        • Thetruth

          Look Colangelo pretty much messed up the period after the Garbajosa injury all the way to the departure of Chris Bosh. He did some lousy trades, free agency signings, etc. However, he has somewhat bounced back recently. I like our cap flexibility, the young pieces we have, and his draft picks have pretty much been spot on for most of his career. I really think he can turn this ship around and turn us into a legit darkhorse eastern conference contender in two seasons. That’s why I’m in favour of extending his contract for another year just to give him a final chance to see his plan through to the ending instead of being rushed to do a dumb trade at the deadline that will improve us in the short-term but totally handicap us from reaching the original goal of this rebuild which is to become contenders.

          • Thetruth

            By the way, it takes real cajones to draft Valanciunas with his contract situation at the time knowing that the rookie wasn’t going to play the following season. I don’t know how many GM’s in the league would have made a similar call with his contract situation at the time. Feel free to disagree but let’s give credit when it is due. 

            Let’s also remember that Colangelo changed the culture of basketball operations in Toronto. We are long gone from the dark days of having Richard Peddie interfere in basketball affairs. 

      • Brain Colangelo

        ask anyone close to the team.

    • Thetruth

      That is a total bailout excuse for Jay Triano. I don’t think Glen Taylor is any better an owner than MLSE and Rick Adelman is doing fine in Minnesota. Now I know Rick Adelman is a lot more seasoned than Triano but the point I’m trying to make is that ownership/General Manager should never been used as an excuse for a coach when he loses the locker room. KuH made a great post earlier about leadership. Triano may be a great X’s and O’s basketball mind but he is lacking in the leadership/motivation department for NBA players. 

      • Thetruth

        *should never be used as an excuse for a coach when he loses his locker room. I also forgot to mention that GM David Kahn is infinitely worse than Bryan Colangelo. Adelman is still doing just fine despite all the real crap he has to put up with on a daily basis.

  • j bean

    Wish him well but have to agree he was in over his head when he was promoted.

  • KuH

    There are two sides to being a head coach:
    – the basketball side
    – the leadership (motivational/disciplinarian) side

    Jay may simply be excellent at the basketball side (great assistant coach), but not able to lead/motivate/discipline ALL kinds of players (and assistant coaches for that matter), only some.  If he doesn’t know how to handle every type of player, then the ones he can’t handle slack off/get pissed off and ruin the locker room atmosphere for everyone else.

    Add that to possibly not knowing how to handle the GM-coach relationship (“yes, you’re my boss, but you hired me to get the job done – I make the final call on stuff, not you”).

    Jay is probably an outstanding basketball guy, who fell short on the people management side. 

    Incidentally, there is nothing like doing the job of head coach to discover what those people issues are and to learn through mistakes what to do and not do.  Jay will probably be a better head coach the next time through, if given the chance.

    P.S.  I run companies for a living.  I’ve learned the leadership thing through experience also.

    • Bendit

      You mean he learned nothing from all his years as hc of Canada Basketball, as asst. coach of the US team, asst coach of the Raptors and other mentors? I suppose there is no substitution for being in the hot seat of an NBA team, but still…..

  • p00ka

    I don’t know what point there is in dissing Jay anymore. Really, why? No question it didn’t work out with him in the head coaching gig in TO, but Jay continues to be the head coach for the U.S. Selects team, is getting back the head coaching job with Team Canada (in the real world, Nash and Barret know something about his coaching), and was offered the lead assistant job with both Dallas and Portland. It would seem a lot of very knowledgeable NBA people hold him in high regard, yet he continues to get trashed here with such stuff as:

    “knowing that your nationality is what’s keeping you employed”

    Or perhaps it had something to do with the money owed on his contract, and the services he could still provide?

    “Stomach…. in small doses only”

    That doesn’t quite fit with “a good relationship with players”, nor does it fit with Dallas and Portland wanting him as lead assistant. In most pro sport organizations, assistant coaches spend much more time dealing directly with players than the head coach. A guy like Carlisle wants him as lead assistant, despite players only being able to take him in small doses? Huh?

    “You can evaluate and instruct how the X’s and O’s designed by someone else can/should be run, but can’t design them yourself”

    Wasn’t he the primary X’s and O’s guy that ran a productive offense, despite lack of talent? The problem was lack of defense.

    I just don’t see any point in trying to bash the guy some more. I wish him good luck, especially as the head coach of Team Canada, despite him being capable of being nothing but a sheep that players can only take in small doses.

    • Guest

      Right on.  This “article” is pure trash.  @Arsenalist:disqus, stick to content you actually know and can back up.  While you’re at it with gossip-rag quality bull, you might as well also add “because a killer bunny told me so.”  Writing about the qualifications of a professional coach/assistant coach like you have any experience either as a NBA player coached by one or as team personnel involved in hiring/managing one is silly.

    • Paul

      Very well said P00ka. It is time that we have consructive critism and not alway look to bash people especially when other in the Basketball world respect him. I wish him all the best. We have all failed at something at some point. We can all learn and move on.

  • Jamshid

    Glad to see Jay get another solid Job in NBA. It is always great to see Canadian do well in NBA. Jay is a great assistant coach but was over his head as a Head coach. Best of Luck to him …

    • Richdoria

      People learn from experience. Jay will be a better coach on his next head coach job. He will be better in calling a game , a play , motivating, and managing management .

  • gusser

    I rarely write in but I read all the time.  Most of the time Arsenalist is informative and entertaining.  But this was just ridiculous.  I just want to put it out there that a ‘good’ head coach hires assistants that understand the game and the people that play it.
    Often it is the assistants running practice and drawing up the plays, and leaning in toduring agame remind the coach about tempo, and subs.  Usually they know as much if not more than the Head about basketball and people, but lack the administrative and project skills to warrant that job.
    Just saying you’re way off in your assessment of the assistants role.

  • FAQ

    Triano just didn’t sound “american” to all the American players, so they couldn’t take him seriously.  Also they knew he was just a stopgap coach who would be replaced if Bosh had stayed and dictated who was to be the next coach.  Believe it.

    • p00ka

      lol, people are ignoring your constant insults, so you’re now resorting to being a TMZ style mouthpiece to stir the pot and get attention?
      Reminds me of a tune, written by Joel Plaskett, that includes (with slight modification) :

      Trollin, trollin, trollin
      With my imaginary friends
      Imagining I know ’em
      Then it’s time to troll again

  • T4576752

    Arsenalist your credibility is low, and your articles weak. You are the Jay Triano of journalism.