Former Cincinnati Bearcats star and Los Angeles Laker, Nick Van Exel, has been hired as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks.
He’s joining the staff in the Peachtree State under Nate McMillan. He’ll replace Marlin Garnett, who left ATL to join the Charlotte Hornets staff.
This will be Van Exel’s second stint with the Hawks, as he was the team’s player development instructor from 2010-13.
Now he’ll have the chance to work with rising star Trae Young and the newly drafted Sharife Cooper. Both players have many of the same attributes that Van Exel had in game.
He should help with their development. While Young already possesses superstar traits, with Van Exel in his ear the hope is that Trae will become a more polished passer and decision-maker.
Van Exel, a former All-Star, averaged 14.4 points and 6.6 assists during his 13-year NBA career. He finished in the top 15 in assists in 8 of his 13 NBA seasons. He most recently coached with the Memphis Grizzlies from 2016-19.
Prior to that he coached the Dallas Mavericks’ G-League affiliate, Texas Legends (2014-16), and spent a season with the 2021 NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks from (2013-14).
Van Exel won’t have any problem finding a good place to purchase his beloved iced coffee in Atlanta, he admitted he’s now addicted to it after years of not knowing what the hype was all about.