The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that Bob Thornton and Lloyd Pierce will complete head coach Lionel Hollins’ staff as an assistant (Thornton) and player development coach (Pierce).
With almost 30 years of collegiate and professional basketball experience as a player, scout and coach, Thornton comes to Memphis after spending the past four seasons (2007-11) as an advance scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Along with his work with the Thunder, Thornton also served as an assistant coach for two NBA teams, first with the Chicago Bulls (2002-04) and most recently with the Minnesota Timberwolves (2005-07). Before his first stint with Bulls, Thornton spent one season (2001-02) as head coach for NBA Development League’s Huntsville Flight, along with one season as head coach of the Quad City Thunder of the Continental Basketball Association (2000-01).
As a player, Thornton played as a power forward for 11 professional seasons, eight in the NBA (1985-92, 1995-96) and three overseas, averaging 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 283 career NBA games with the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz and Washington Bullets.
The Los Angeles, Calif. native attended the University of California-Irvine (1981-84) where he played until graduation, earning his bachelor’s of science degree. Thornton was selected 87th overall in the 1984 NBA Draft by the New York City Knicks.
Pierce, with over 15 years of and collegiate and professional basketball experience, joins the Grizzlies’ organization for third NBA coaching job after a year (2010-11) with the Golden State Warriors, where he served as an assistant coach under head coach Keith Smart.
Prior to his stint with the Warriors, Pierce worked for the Cleveland Cavaliers as a player development coordinator for three seasons (2007-10). The San Jose, Calif. native attended Santa Clara University (1994-98) where he helped lead the Broncos to two NCAA Tournament berths.
After graduating with a degree in business management, Pierce played four seasons internationally, making stops in Mexico, Australia and Germany before returning to Santa Clara University where he joined the team’s staff as an assistant coach under head coach Dick Davey (2003-07).