Introducing… Lloyd Pierce
As the press conference got started today, I looked at the body language and eye movement of the new Atlanta Hawks Head Coach. I looked to see if he would be overwhelmed by the moment, or just take it all in stride. The latter took place and it seemed as if Coach Lloyd Pierce has been patiently waiting for this moment for years.
As Coach Pierce surveyed the new surroundings, he held his water bottle loosely while talking about his journey from Santa Clara as a player and the advice of Steve Nash. He spoke eloquently of Dick Davey, his college coach at Santa Clara. Coach spoke of his NBA journey thanking Mike Brown, whom he worked with as a Player Development coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers and was the catalyst for his attention to detail. He spoke highly of Keith Smart and his demeanor of his smile daily as well as his initial relationship with Travis Schlenk (only for one season) while working together at Golden State. He talked about his two years with Lionel Hollins whom he credited with the defensive philosophies that he still implements today. Finally, he spoke reverently of Brett Brown at Philadelphia and how he allowed him to continue to build the defensive habits and player development skills that are evident in the development of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Robert Covington to name a few.
Finally, I enjoyed how passionately the forty-two-year-old coach spoke about SWEAT EQUITY; DEFENSIVE DNA and COMPETITION & REPETITION. Coach spoke of what he is expecting from his staff and players as he spoke briefly on character, integrity and work ethic. All of these attributes are all part of creating a culture in a year-old practice facility as well as the final renovations to the arena this summer. It will be exciting to see how Coach Pierce handles all the new responsibilities of his role. He will have to balance hiring a staff, preparing for the draft, workouts with current players, moving family to their new home; and oh, by the way, his wife is due to give birth in August…WHEW! All in all, Coach Pierce handled all the questions and media obligations calmly and coolly. Therefore, it is safe to say that he will be fine in the coming days, weeks and months to come as he builds this team and staff in his image. Furthermore, the statements of affirmation from the likes of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Steph Curry can only signal exciting days ahead in a city that is looking to put the disappointments of the recent past in the rearview mirror.