Detroit Pistons assistant coach Rex Kalamian has been named the new head coach of the Armenian national team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
While this is his first season coaching with the Detroit Pistons, Kalamian is a well-traveled NBA veteran in coaching circles, serving stints with the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves over 28 years. Kalamian has focused mostly on the defensive side of the ball during his coaching career.
When Pistons coach Dwane Casey was absent to tend to a personal matter and later entered the league’s health and safety protocols, Kalamian has stepped into head coaching duties in Detroit.
On Jan. 10, the Kalamian-led Pistons overcame a 22-point deficit against the Utah Jazz to deliver the first unofficial victory of Kalamian’s career as a head coach.
“I just said to somebody that it’s the first time I’ve gotten a game ball in 28 years. It’s pretty cool, but I’m very happy to get the win for the players, especially,” Kalamian said after notching his first victory in the lead chair.
Kalamian’s grandmother escaped the Aremenian genocide as a teenager and came to the United States, Wojnarowski reported.
The Aremenian National Team was formed in Summer 2016. Because of previous financial issues and the global pandemic, it does not yet have much of a track record in major competition. It has yet to qualify for the Olympics, FIBA World Cup or EuroBasket.
Congrats go to coach Kalamian. Hopefully, it’s personally fulfilling and he sees some professional success for the national team.