After nearly nine years of bouncing around between the NBA, G League, and NCAA, ex-Butler guard Ronald Nored, who played four years for Brad Stevens, getting to the NCAA Championship game in 2010 and 2011, is expected to return to Indiana as an assistant on Rick Carlisle’s staff, reports Yahoo’s Chris Haynes.
Nored, who took a job as Brownsburg High School’s head coach at age 22 after graduating from Butler in 2012, quickly made the jump to the G League as an assistant coach for the Maine Red Claws, after working briefly as an assistant to Matthew Graves at South Alabama, when Brad Stevens was named as head coach of the Boston Celtics. In 2014-15, Nored transitioned into player development for the Celtics, where he took the lead organizational role for the players’ off-court development, in addition to his on-court coaching duties.
“Brad has probably had the biggest impact on me,” Nored said, citing Stevens as his biggest influence, in an interview with Brooklyn Paper. “He kind of laid out the blueprint for me when I was a player. It gave me a window into the coaching world.”
From there, he returned to college basketball as an assistant at Northern Kentucky for one season before becoming the first head coach of Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, compiling a 27-23 record in his second season — a 10-win improvement.
In that same article, Nored discussed his experience in the G League with getting players to work together. “You have to figure out a way to get them to want to achieve the same goal while explaining that it will still help them achieve their individual goal.”
Granted, the stakes are obviously different at the NBA level, but Carlisle has already been notably vocal about the need for a strength-in-numbers approach with regard to making sacrifices and putting a heavy emphasis on getting better on defense.
While with Long Island, as one of the youngest head coaches in professional sports, Nored was also named as an assistant to Jeff Van Gundy for the USA’s World Cup Qualifying Games in 2018. In May of that same year, the former Butler guard left the Nets organization to take a job as an assistant under head coach James Borrego in Charlotte, where he served as the team’s summer league coach in 2019. In an interview with The Athletic’s Roderick Boone from the following season, the now 31-year-old upstart spoke to the importance of forming connections with players to foster improvement.
“For player development, it starts with building a relationship with a player and earning his trust, making him feel like when he walks in the building he’s in a safe environment to improve,” he explained. “Without that and if there’s no trust, there’s no relationship. A player won’t even put himself out there to get better. So I think it starts there.”
With Nored’s hiring, Carlisle’s staff looks well-balanced — at least in the early stages. Lloyd Pierce, as the team’s top assistant, provides a no-nonsense veteran with head-coaching experience, whereas Nored, who was considered one of the “top young minds” among the Nets organization, seems like an ideal candidate to bridge a generational gap in relating to players while also bringing fresh ideas. After all, at just 31 years of age, there’s a chance that some of next season’s players might actually be older than he is, depending on how the roster shakes out. As it stands now, Justin Holiday, 32, is already his senior. As for the rest of the staff, it remains to be seen if Carlisle will bring over any familiar faces from Dallas.
According to Haynes, Nored has also interviewed twice for Washington’s head-coaching vacancy, which has yet to be filled.