No. 4 – Sergio Scariolo
His might not be a name that jumps off the page with its prominence and star power, but Italian coach Sergio Scarilo is and has long been a highly respected and experienced coach in international basketball circles. Thus far into his career, Scariolo has won four EuroBasket championships and a World Cup with the Spanish national team. He has also coached several successful club teams in Europe, including Real Madrid and Virtus Bologna.
Scariolo is also known for his offensive creativity and ability to adapt his schemes to fit his personnel, which fits right in with the role that Terry Stotts was poised to play for this retooling Milwaukee Bucks team. It’s well-documented that Scariolo has shown a willingness to experiment with different offensive styles and formations while also being skilled at identifying and exploiting the strengths of his players on the basketball court.
Add to that the fact that he has a proven track record of developing players, and it becomes clear why Sergio is a name the Bucks should be exploring. Scariolo has helped many players develop into serviceable starting-caliber players both in this league and in the international game, including Pau Gasol and Ricky Rubio.
But more than anything, Scariolo seems to be a good fit for the job since the Bucks have already expressed interest in the idea, as reported by Superbasket. Reportedly, Scariolo has already received a proposal from the Milwaukee Bucks to return to the NBA and serve as Adrian Griffin’s first assistant coach, though his response to this has yet to be made public.
It should be said, too, that Scariolo already has prior experience with Griffin, which should decrease the odds of them butting heads in the future. That’s because the two spent time on Nick Nurse’s Toronto bench in 2018-19 when Scariolo added an NBA ring to his already impressive resume alongside Griffin. He was also actually one of the names often brought up in the head coaching carousel around the league this past offseason.
Of course, the Bucks could also choose to move forward with their coaching staff as is. After all, they’ve already got a few well-respected names leading the team alongside Adrian Griffin. However, if the Bucks are looking to make a change to their coaching staff, looking for a replacement for Stotts should be high on their priority list.
It also obviously goes without saying that all this will depend on the availability and willingness of the aforementioned names to take on assistant coaching positions after previously taking head coaching positions around the association. But as we saw with Terry Stotts, who had taken a bit of a break from coaching after the Damian Lillard era in Portland, anything is possible if you can sell them the opportunity of coaching one of the best players in the league in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Stotts has a wealth of experience, both as an assistant coach and as a head coach, and is likely to be a candidate for head coaching jobs in the NBA in the future, considering his proven track record in getting the most out of his players and devising creative offensive schemes. The Bucks would have benefitted from his expertise, especially since they were looking to make heavy changes to their overall offensive philosophy.
But his departure doesn’t mean all is lost. As it currently stands, the Bucks have a revolving door of lead assistant coaches to cycle through game to game, with Adrian Griffin alternating between Joe Prunty, Patrick Mutombo, and DJ Baker. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to replace Terry Stotts is up to the Milwaukee Bucks front office. They will need to weigh all of the factors involved and make the decision that is best for the team.
Stay tuned for more analysis on the Milwaukee Bucks as the season chugs on.