Raptors introduce Mitchell as head coach
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – The Toronto Raptors on Tuesday introduced Sam
Mitchell as their new head coach during a morning press conference.
Mitchell spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee
Bucks. He was recently hired as the top assistant under Bernie Bickerstaff
with the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.
“This is an opportunity that offers a lot of potential and I’m excited to be
stepping into my first head coaching situation with an organization that is
fully committed to winning,” Mitchell said.
The 40-year-old Mitchell enjoyed a 13-year playing career in the NBA with the
Minnesota Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers. He played in 994 regular-season
contests and averaged 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
During the press conference, Mitchell noted that he will have three to four
assistants but didn’t get into much detail.
“We’re contacting teams about the people we’re interested in,” Mitchell added.
The Raptors were in need of a head coach after Kevin O’Neill was dismissed
on April 16. Toronto finished with a 33-49 record in 2003-04 and failed
to qualify for the playoffs in O’Neill’s first campaign with the club. He
took over for Lenny Wilkens in June of 2003.
“Sam Mitchell embodies all the characteristics that are consistent with the
basketball philosophy we’re building with the Toronto Raptors – an outstanding
work ethic, strong character, mental toughness, and a commitment to team
values,” Rob Babcock, general manager of the Raptors, confided.