clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pistons hire Malik Allen and Tim Hardaway Sr. as assistant coaches, Jeff Nix as assistant GM

New, comments

Detroit Pistons move from filling out roster to filling out coaching, executive ranks.

Ronald Martinez

The Detroit Pistons added multiple coaches and an assistant general manager, according to multiple media reports.

Joining previously announced hire of Quentin Richardson as a Pistons coach are reportedly fellow ex NBA'er Malik Allen and Tim Hardaway Sr.

And joining at the executive level is Jeff Nix, who previously worked for the New York Knicksaccording to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press .

We already covered Quentin Richardson, and, like Richardson, Allen is a longtime NBA player (10 years) who previously played for head coach and director of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy.

After going undrafted in 2000, Allen caught on in the ABA and caught the eye of the Miami Heat, where Van Gundy served as an assistant coach at the time. He played 3+ seasons in Miami, including some time with Van Gundy in the lead chair. He bounced around the league for several years as a back of the rotation big man and spent his final year in the NBA on Van Gundy's Orlando Magic team in 2010.

But the more intriguing hires (or possible hires) are Nix as an assistant GM.

Nix and former Pistons great have an unsavory connection to each other as Nix, then the director of scouting with the New York Knicks, testified in the sexual harassment trial Anucha Browne Sanders brought against Isiah Thomas and Madison Square Garden.

Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski wrote a damning account of the Knicks' organization at the time, including Nix sacrificing his job to testify against the organization:

Nix had nothing to gain by backing Browne Sanders, except perhaps a clear conscience and a sober stare in the mirror every morning.

And to lose? Between those depositions in January and the trial this week, Nix was dismissed of his duties as director of scouting.

In Nix's mind, telling the truth would cost him a $250,000-a-year job.

Nix never latched on with another NBA organization but took a role as director of men's basketball operations with Wake Forest in 2011.

Presumably, Van Gundy knows Nix well as he spent many years in the Knicks organization alongside Van Gundy's brother Jeff. Nix served as an assistant under Pat Riley, Don Nelson and Jeff Van Gundy while with the Knicks and also spent six years as an assistant GM and three more as the director of scouting.

Hardaway, meanwhile, has not officially joined the organization (UPDATE: Yes he has), but according to Wojnarowski, Hardaway and the Pistons have had "serious discussions" about a position. Hardaway spent several years with Pat Riley and Van Gundy as a member of the Miami Heat.

UPDATE: Ryan Field, formerly of Fox Sports Detroit and currently of Fox Sports 1 reports that Hardaway is, in fact, joining the Pistons.

Hardaway was embroiled in a mini-controversy once his playing career ended when he told a Miami radio station in 2007 that he hated gay people and would try to get a gay teammate fired. Hardaway apologized the same day and has expressed remorse for his comments ever since.

When Jason Collins announced he was gay and hoped to be the first openly gay active player in the NBA, Hardaway reportedly called him in support. He also signed a petition in Florida to overturn the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.