Los Angeles Lakers’ assistant coach Quin Snyder had much success as the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs’ D-League Austin Toros.
From the Toros enjoying the most successful time under his regime, to leading the D-League in call-ups, Snyder definitely made the most of his time in Austin and says he owes a lot to Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, R.C. Buford and the Spurs organization.
I think Coach Pop and (Spurs G.M.) R.C. Buford believed in me at a time that maybe some people didn’t. During that three and a half year period, I was grafted into that (Spurs) coaching tree. The leadership that Coach Pop demonstrates and the respect that he has for his staff, and his staff has for him, is unique. I’m also grateful to the guys on his staff that allowed me to grow as much as I did during that time.
Since he left Austin, Snyder has gone to to bigger and better things. He broke into the NBA with the Philadelphia 76’ers as an assistant coach to now joining the Lakers but it’s his time with the Spurs and the Toros where he developed a winning culture.
I took pride in the opportunity to try and build a culture and a team in Austin that they would respect. I had great support from the entire (Spurs) staff. They would call me after our D-League team would get a win and we would laugh together when they would call up one of our best players.
And as for his time in Austin, it was the personel connection he made with the players that he remembers the most.
When I coached the Austin Toros (the San Antonio Spurs’ D-League team) we led the D-League in call-ups. One of our players got called up at 8 a.m. on the day of a game. He gave me a call and said, ‘Coach, I’m getting called up to the NBA.’ Those are great moments.
I think that point when players know that you really care about them and that you’re able to say difficult things to them as well, and be truthful, that to me is probably the cornerstone of developing players.
Snyder is just one more person in a large list of former Spurs’ coaches and front office staff that go on to succeed in the NBA. Just like the new Lakers head coach Snyder will be working with, former Spurs coach Mike Brown.