Danny Ferry has beel cleaning out the Atlanta Hawks since he arrived just under a year ago, and he's bringing some of his former co-workers with him to fill the void. Case and point: his latest hire, Mike Budenholzer, comes from Ferry's stop at San Antonio.
But more important than Budenholzer's connection to Ferry is his connection to Gregg Popovich, one of the best coaches in the NBA and one who will go down as one of the best ever. The Hawks and Ferry will hope Pop's championship pedigree will rub off on his disciple and they have good reason to believe it will, as several other Popovich mentees can be found on playoff teams.
P.J. Carlisemo, Mike Brown, Vinny Del Negro, Doc Rivers and Avery Johnson can all trace their roots back to Pop, not to mention Monty Williams, the current coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.
That's quite an impressive list for a coach who appears to be the most standoffish dude in the NBA. Clealry, he's a good teacher, coach and mentor.
Of course, he learned that from someone, too. Pop is a part of the Larry Brown coaching tree from their days at Kansas. Brown is a part of Dean Smith's incredible legacy, and in 2008, a quarter of the NBA coaches could trace their roots back to the legendary North Carolina coach, and that doesn't include his roots in the college game.