Sacramento Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie today announced the hiring of Keith Smart and Bobby Jackson as assistant coaches on Head Coach Paul Westphal’s staff. Additionally, the Kings hired Dwayne Wilson (equipment manager) and announced the promotions of Pete Youngman (director of sports medicine) and Manny Romero (head athletic trainer).
Smart, who brings 22 years of professional basketball experience as either a coach or player, joins the Kings after spending last season (2010-11) as head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Prior to his appointment as head coach, Smart served seven seasons as an assistant coach for the Warriors, giving him the longest tenure of any assistant coach in Golden State history. Smart, 47, originally joined the Warriors prior to the 2003-04 campaign after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was named the Cavaliers interim head coach in the middle of the 2002-03 season upon taking over for John Lucas. At the time, he was second-youngest head coach in the NBA.
Before joining the Cavaliers, Smart spent three seasons as the head coach of the CBA’s Fort Wayne Fury, compiling a record of 85-83 (.506) and guiding the team to its first back-to-back winning seasons in franchise history in 1997-98 and 1998-99. In his first campaign as a head coach at any level in 1997-98, he guided the Fury to a franchise-record 31-win season and a trip to the playoffs. The club made the playoffs again in 1998-99, despite having a single-season franchise record nine players signed to NBA contracts. He was awarded the American Conference Coach of the Month Award five times during his tenure with Fort Wayne and had a CBA-high 21 players signed to NBA contracts. During his professional basketball playing career, Smart spent six seasons in the CBA, two seasons in France and one in Venezuela. He also played briefly with the San Antonio Spurs during the 1988-89 season. Smart was originally drafted by the Warriors in the second round (41st overall) of the 1988 NBA Draft out of Indiana University. He is widely remembered for his Final Four heroics in 1987, in which he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four after leading Indiana to a National Championship with his game-winning shot versus Syracuse in the title game.
Jackson, who enjoyed a 12-year career as a player in the NBA, begins his first season as an assistant coach for the Kings. He spent the past two years working as the Kings’ basketball operations special assistant where his responsibilities included assisting in the areas of scouting, handling player evaluations and preparing for the NBA Draft. Jackson played six of his 12 NBA seasons with the Kings, averaging 10.6 ppg (.440 FG%, .356 3pt%, .810 FT%), 3.2 rpg, and 2.2 apg in 365 games with Sacramento. Drafted by the Seattle Sonics (now Oklahoma City) with the 23rd overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft and then traded to Denver on the night of the Draft, Jackson played for six teams in his NBA career — Denver, (1997-98), Minnesota (1998-99 – 1999-00), Sacramento (2000-01 – 2004-05, 2008-09), Memphis (2005-06), New Orleans (2006-07 -2007-08), and Houston (2007-08).
When he retired, Jackson ranked fifth in three-pointers made (381) and sixth in attempted (1,070) in Kings’ franchise history. He also ranked 10th in steals (356) in the Sacramento era. Jackson averaged 9.7 ppg (.417 FG%, .354 3pt%, .793 FT%), 3.1 rpg, and 2.6 apg in 755 career games. In eight of his 12 seasons, Jackson played in the NBA Playoffs and averaged 9.2 points (.405 FG%, .270 3pt%, .807 FT%), 2.8 rpg, and 2.1 apg in 58 contests. His best season came in 2002-03 when he earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award after averaging a career-best 15.2 ppg (.464 FG%, .379 3pt%, .846 FT%), 3.7 rpg, and 3.1 apg in 59 games. He became just the second point guard in league history to win the award, joining Orlando’s Darrell Armstrong (1999). Jackson remains one of the most beloved players in Sacramento-era history for his efforts both on and off the court. He established the Bobby Jackson Foundation in February 2004, a community-based organization created in honor of his mother, Sarah, who passed away in January 2002 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. Additionally, he serves as the local spokesman for the Sacramento affiliate Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in memory of his mother.
Wilson enters his first season as the Kings’ equipment manager after serving in the same capacity for the Milwaukee Bucks for the past six seasons. With Milwaukee, Wilson also assisted the team’s strength and conditioning coach with player development. He was originally hired by the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in 1998. Wilson added the title of equipment manager in 1999 and served as both until the summer of 2004.
Youngman enters his first season as the Kings’ director of sports medicine after serving as the team’s head athletic trainer the previous 15 seasons. He spent three seasons as the club’s assistant to former head trainer Bill Jones before accepting the head post in June of 1996. Youngman joined the Kings after spending the previous nine years with the Boston Red Sox professional baseball organization at all levels of their minor league system.
Romero begins his first season as the head athletic trainer and his ninth overall with the team. He served as the Kings’ assistant athletic trainer/performance enhancement specialist the previous five seasons. Prior to joining the Kings, Romero worked seven seasons as a part of the Los Angeles Lakers training staff.