For the second straight year, the Grand Rapids NBA G League team will welcome a former NBA player as its new head coach.
The Grand Rapids Gold recently announced 17-year NBA veteran Andre Miller as the team’s new head coach, replacing Jason Terry. After leading the Gold to a 17-15 record last season, Terry will join the NBA’s Utah Jazz coaching staff this year.
The 2022-23 season also will be the Gold’s first in Van Andel Arena, after spending the first eight years at the DeltaPlex. The home opener is Nov. 10 against the Motor City Cruise.
Miller spent two stints with the Denver Nuggets, the Gold’s NBA affiliate, in 2003-07 and 2011-14. Playing with nine teams throughout his career, Miller averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds and ranks fourth in Denver Nuggets franchise history with 2,978 assists.
He is one of eight players in NBA history to score 16,000 points, dish out 8,500 assists and grab 4,500 rebounds in his career, joining a club that includes LeBron James, Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. In college, he led University of Utah to the NCAA Championship game.
Miller will be joined on the Grand Rapids bench by Nate Babcock, Jeff Trepagnier and James Fraschilla.
Adding Miller and Van Andel Arena to what Gold President Steve Jbara said is already a high-quality roster will help draw more attention to the team.
“It’s helping draw the interest we were trying to get out there,” Jbara said of the venue switch. “Once we get you in, the basketball is so good, we got you. That’s why I’m so excited about downtown because it will help people get there. That’s the biggest thing about moving downtown, the access to people.”
Last year, multiple NBA veterans made stops in Grand Rapids as members of the Gold, including Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson, Isaiah Thomas, Kenneth Faried, Terrence Jones and Shabazz Muhammad. Former Michigan star Nik Stauskas also played for the Gold last season.
The G League has acted as a springboard for a variety of former NBA players to start their coaching careers. Prior to last season, Terry said he was excited for his time in Grand Rapids but had higher aspirations. The same could also be true for Miller.
“I’m definitely an in-the-moment type guy, I’m in that day-to-day grind to see where it takes us,” said Terry, a 19-year NBA veteran. “But eventually, I’d like to be at the head of an NBA bench or Division I college.”