The Suns began the interview process in their search for assistant coaches on Tuesday, bringing in former Chicago Bulls head coach Bill Cartwright. Buck Williams, an ex-teammate of new coach Terry Porter, will interview today.
One of the Suns’ top priorities in filling out Porter’s staff is hiring a former All-Star big man known for being strong defensively and a good rebounder — a coach who can help bring along Amaré Stoudemire’s development.
Cartwright (7-foot-1) and Williams (6-8) both fit that mold.
Cartwright, an assistant with the New Jersey Nets since 2004-05, averaged 13.2 points and 6.3 rebounds over a 15-year NBA career with New York, Chicago and Seattle. He was a teammate of Suns general manager Steve Kerr in Chicago in 1993-94 and also was an assistant on Kerr’s 1996-97 and 1997-98 Bulls teams that won NBA titles.
Cartwright was 51-100 in 2 1/2 seasons as the Bulls coach from 2001-03.
Williams was a three-time All-Star with the Nets in the 1980s, averaging 14.2 points and 11.0 rebounds over 17 seasons with New Jersey, Portland and New York. He and Porter played on the 1989-90 and 1991-92 Trail Blazers teams that advanced to the NBA Finals. Williams was known for his blue-collar work ethic and getting the most out of his ability.
Since retiring in 1998, he has worked in information technology, coached his son’s AAU team and is currently vice president of a construction and building supply company, according to a recent article in the New York Times.
In addition, the Suns have had talks with San Antonio Spurs assistant Chip Engelland, who has a reputation as one of the league’s best talent developers.
Phoenix would like to have its staff of four assistants in place by July 3, a week before the NBA’s summer league.
Also on the Suns’ list are Alvin Gentry and Jay Humphries, holdovers from former coach Mike D’Antoni’s staff. Suns TV color analysts Dan Majerle, who played with Porter in Miami, and Eddie Johnson are expected to interview, along with former player Jeff Hornacek.