Detroit Pistons: Potential of Kevin Ollie as Coach Raises Question
The Detroit Pistons have identified three candidates that have impressed them most during the first round of interviews. Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins and Overtime Elite head of player development Kevin Ollie are the favorites as things currently stand.
Despite the Pistons fondness, fans and observers have been seeking to gain more info on the potential head coaches to be.
First up is something to like and a question to ponder about the most divisive of the options, Kevin Ollie.
With Troy Weaver already having a keen eye on NBA Draft Lottery prospects Amen and Ausar Thompson, it’s safe to assume their coaches would show on the radar.
Kevin Ollie has had as front row seat to the Thompson twins who are projected to go top five in the draft.
How? As head coach for Overtime Elite, a professional basketball league for 16-20 year olds based in Atlanta, GA. This is in addition to player development duties at Overtime Elite.
Figuring out how much credit Ollie gets for Amen and Ausar’s ascent is difficult to quantify, but it should matter. Especially for a young Pistons team seeking to continue positive strides previous coach Dwane Casey made with Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren and others.
Question Facing Ollie
But the real question among Ollie’s detractors is focused on his time at the University of Connecticut. He started hot winning a championship in 2014 within a few years of assuming head coaching duties. Some attribute the credit to foundation laid before him by UConn’s legendary coach Jim Calhoun.
He only reached the NCAA tournament once after winning it all and UConn faced NCAA Violations which prompted Ollie’s removal. He has quickly and very successfully landed on his feet with Overtime with the opportunity to shed prior stigmas.
The decline during his tenure at UConn was inconsistent with the reputation he built during his time playing in the NBA. Ollie has always been seen as professional, and able to connect with teammates and now the players under his tutelage.
“As a coach, I have always considered it a high point to see players grow holistically,” Ollie wrote in an Op-Ed via the Athletic. “Not just in one area; to grow up into great men whose talents extend beyond the court, and whose work ethic turns those talents into skills. There’s something special about that.”
This philosophy is what made Ollie a good candidate for UConn, and Overtime Elite when they were hiring. How does it effect the way you see his potential as Troy Weaver’s head coaching selection?