Open Thread: Pop’s coaching tree continues with Chad Forcier

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As we continue to retrace Coach Popovich’s long list of assistant coaches, we begin to move into one of the later acquisitions who is still an active NBA assistant to this day.

In 1992, Chad Forcier got his start as an intern for the Seattle SuperSonics while still in college. Over the next five years, he worked with head coach George Karl (are we beginning to see some Spursy patterns here). While with the SuperSonics, Forcier also coached JV high school basketball and assisted with varsity. He eventually worked his way into an assistant position at the collegiate level.

In 2001, he joined Rick Carlisle in Detroit. He was there for two seasons until Carlisle’s firing. Carlisle moved to Indiana (where he’d been an assistant immediately before these two years with the Pistons), taking Forcier with him.

Forcier stayed on throughout Carlisle’s four seasons with the Pacers. When Carlisle left Indiana for Dallas, Forcier made his way south down I-35 to San Antonio.

Forcier was with the Spurs from 2007 to 2016. During his tenure, he rode the the pine with well-known Spurs assistants Mike Budenholzer, Brett Brown, Chip Engelland, Don Newman, Jacque Vaughn, Ime Udoka, Sean Marks, Will Sevening, Jim Boylan, Ettore Messina, Becky Hammon, and James Borrego, Forcier is possibly the former assistant most exposed to different incarnations of Pop’s historic career. He also racked up his first NBA Championship as part of the Spurs “Redemption” title run.

That exposure and expertise led to a position with the Orlando Magic under Frank Vogel. In two seasons, Vogel was unable to turn the Magic’s fate around. He was fired, and Forcier headed to the Memphis Grizzlies in J. B. BIckerstaff’s lone season at the helm.

Forcier went back to what he knew, joining longtime Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer in Milwaukee. The Bucks earned themselves a title last season, the second for Chad Forcier.

This year, the Bucks will look to repeat, but a bevy of teams have been building up to confront them. Odds are slim that the universe that allowed Milwaukee to squeak by the Nets and power over the Suns will again align in the way necessary to hoist another Larry O’Brien.

Yet another path could open up giving Forcier his first shot at head coaching. He’s definitely had the right grooming to be in discussions.


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