New Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said he’s developed a motto over his years coaching as an assistant in the NBA.
“Good days will add up,” Pierce said during his introductory news conference on Monday at the Hawks practice facility in Brookhaven.
There figure to be lots of bad days for the Hawks under Pierce, at least in terms of results. The Hawks finished the 2017-18 season last in the Eastern Conference with a 24-58 record. They don’t’ figure to be much better next season, when as many as four players selected in next month’s draft will be added to an already-young roster.
Pierce, 42, experienced a rebuild during the past five seasons as a Sixers assistant. The Sixers lost 54 or more games during head coach Brett Brown’s first four seasons before the players they accumulated with high draft picks formed the core of this season’s team, which lost to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals last week.
The Hawks are in the early stages of a similar process. That’s probably why Pierce deftly parried a question about whether he thinks there is a potential superstar player on the current roster.
“Just knowing the guys from the past year and looking at some of picks we’ll eventually have, this is where it’s just about the development,” Pierce said. “Good days will add up and that’s going to be our focus moving forward. I don’t think any of the guys on the roster think they’ve played their best basketball yet. It’s all going to be about focused on their growth. How can I help them? How can they help other players? ‘Superstar players,’ that stuff comes later.”
Pierce’s Hawks candidacy was buoyed by working with GM Travis Schlenk for part of one season in Golden State. Pierce was hired by the Warriors in December 2010 after Stephen Silas left for a position with the Hornets. Head coach Mark Jackson didn’t retain Pierce for the next season.
Before joining Brown’s Sixers staff, Pierce was a player development assistant with the Grizzlies from 2011-13. He served in a similar role with the Cavaliers from 2007-10 and was an assistant coach at Santa Clara University from 2002-07.