Former Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Jay Triano, who will be coaching the Canadian men's national team this summer, left coach Terry Stotts' bench back in May to join up with new Suns coach Earl Watson in Phoenix.
Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune spoke with Triano this week about his departure:
"I'm excited about it," Triano says. "It's a good move for me personally.
"I have nothing but great things to say about my experience in Portland and with Terry (Stotts, the Blazers' head coach). It was a fantastic four years here."
Triano coached Watson when he was in Portland for the 2013-14 season, developing a relationship with the veteran point guard. As Eggers reports, it was a very tough decision for Triano to leave, but he felt the move would help his career:
"Terry, Neil (Olshey, the president/general manager) and the whole organization have been nothing but fantastic," Triano says. "But I feel that to grow as a coach, I need to spread my wings a little bit, and maybe a new environment is best for me."
The article also mentions the move to Phoenix wasn't about money or weather.
Triano had been in Portland since the 2012-13 season, after spending three seasons as coach of the Toronto Raptors, where he had been an assistant since 2002. He coached the Canadian men's national team from 1998-2004 and rejoined the program in 2012.