Newman, who originally joined the Spurs prior to the 2004-05 season, will not be making a move up as a head coach, he will be joining Randy Wittman’s staff as an assistant coach.
“Don is an outstanding coach and a great addition to our staff,” said Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman. “He brings championship experience from his time with the Spurs and has been very successful in every stop of his career.”
Unless Newman is moving up to a head assistant coaching position similar to that of Mike Budenholzer’s, it’s a surprising move to me to leave Popovich’s coaching staff, especially when several of his current and former assistants are filling head coaching positions around the league or being considered for those positions.
The Wizards could also be seen as a way for Newman to challenge himself and try to positively affect a franchise that has long been plagued by immaturity and ongoing personal issues.
It’s not the first time Newman has considered leaving San Antonio. Last season, Newman was considered a frontrunner for a coaching vacancy Suns coach Alvin Gentry created for a defensive coordinator-type.
The Spurs will now have a highly-coveted coaching vacancy they’ll be looking to fill prior to training camp.