Darren Erman Will Be Missed in Boston


It’s very rare for an assistant coach to get a lot of media attention. In fact, after the New Orleans Pelicans signed Darren Erman as their new associate head coach, not many fans seemed to care. Of course much of that could be blamed due to where Erman left.

Boston Celtics fans are used to hearing about assistant coaches leaving, since many other franchise try to emulate them. Yet the loss of Erman should have Celtics fans upset, due to what they lost. Celtics fans should have wanted to keep him. Now with Erman working for the Pelicans, he’s just one step away from being the next big head coach in the NBA.

Erman isn’t a house-hold name, but he is recommended highly by his peers. As reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, Erman has been credited for helping the defensive development for Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes. Not to mention how Mark Jackson wanted him on his staff when he became the Warriors’ head coach. Of course, that relationship ended poorly, many of his colleagues defended his actions.

Many other coaches around the league have nothing but high praise for Erman. What also looks to be another glowing aspect to his pedigree was this paragraph in that perviously stated Wojnarowski report.

“A disciple of ex-Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, Erman was the architect of a Golden State Warriors defense that developed into one of the league’s juggernauts.”

So Erman is given some praise for a team making the NBA Finals. That’s a pretty good thing to have. So being an architect, Erman was able to learn from not only Thibodeau, but also from Lawrence Frank (when he took an associate coaching gig in Boston). Both Thibodeau and Frank were rewarded with new head coaching gigs after going to the Celtics. Thus, Erman looks to be in prime position to earn himself a head coaching opportunity very soon.

Klay Thompson credits Darren Erman for his improved defense. Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Right now, Erman will join newly hired Alvin Gentry’s staff in New Orleans. Gentry knows a thing or two about becoming a head coach after being an associate head coach, after his stints in Phoenix and Golden State. It’s the perfect place for Erman to learn even more, and gives him a chance to help develop a team with Anthony Davis.

Gentry himself isn’t known for his defensive prowess, so adding someone like Erman can help New Orleans stay in the playoff hunt for years. The Pelicans were in the bottom half of defensive efficiency, which should never be the case with players like Davis anchoring the team’s defense. It will be up to Erman to fix the mess that Monty Williams had. However, that shouldn’t be a problem for the defensive mastermind.

What’s more important is that this move will hurt the Celtics (at least in the immediate future). Many experts noticed how well Boston played defensively, even though the team had a losing record. The team ended (with it’s “lackluster” roster) having a point differential of 0.2. The Celtics were also in the top half for defensive efficiency this past season. It shows how well Erman was able to scheme for the Celtics. It will be hard to get the same or better results. However, Brad Stevens (as well as Danny Ainge) have to be prepared to find the “next man up” for the job. After all, the team did survive the loss of Thibodeau.

You can’t help but feel happy for Erman getting a chance to be one of the main coaches for a team. Just imagine what opportunities could come out if New Orleans improves. Many teams will begin to throw giant wads of cash at him for his services.

If he can show what he can do in New Orleans, I have faith that his name will be the most sought after, and could become the next big coach in the NBA (add him to the Celtics coaching tree). Defense can win you championships, and his schemes might be the best around at this moment.

*All stats courtesy of ESPN.com and Hollinger Stat.

C.J Maffris is a Celtics writer for Hardwoodhoudini.com. He also feels that even the slightest change can hurt the Celtics. Feel free to debate C.J @SeaJayMaffris