Trail Blazers assistant coach Nate Tibbetts was featured on ESPN.com's list of six current assistant coaches who could land head coaching jobs this summer in an extensive feature on assistant coaching written by staff writer Kevin Arnovitz.
There are NBA assistants who love to be caught on camera piping in authoritatively during a huddle or whispering into a nodding superstar's ear. That's not Tibbetts, who's an understated but vital presence in Portland. The Blazers' young backcourt praises him for his ability to communicate and provide players with cheat codes -- nuanced observations such as opposing players' tendencies or a play call from the other bench. They also appreciate that he'll gladly hop in a taxi with them at 3:30 p.m. if they want to get in an early pregame workout at the arena. Tibbetts simply loves games, loves the preparation that goes into them and loves being in the gym with players.
Though he's not a big personality, per se, Tibbetts' combo of player development chops, time as a head coach, positive energy and communications skills is starting to reach front offices around the league. With a slew of openings this spring and summer, Tibbets is likely to visit some executive suites after the Blazers' season ends.
The 38-year-old Tibbetts joined the Blazers prior to the 2013-14 season. He served as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers for two seasons, was head coach of the NBA D-league's Tulsa 66ers for two seasons and coached Team USA to a bronze medal finish in the 2011 Pan American Games. Read his entire coaching and playing history in the initial announcement of his hiring in Portland, here.
Arnovitz touches on the how the role of head coaches has changed, college coaching versus NBA, and much more. Read his piece, here.