Former 'Pede coach enjoying being NBA assistant

Former 'Pede coach enjoying being NBA assistant

Former 'Pede coach enjoying being NBA assistant

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by Zach Wolken

Idaho's News Channel 7

Posted on April 21, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 10:39 AM

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Boise State graduate and former Idaho Stampede head coach Bryan Gates is a busy guy this time of year. 

Not only did his wife just give birth to triplets, but he's also trying to help the New Orleans Hornets beat the LA Lakers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. 

So one might say, things are just a little different than when Gates was leading the 'Pede to a D-League title back in 2008.

"I think you can say it's a little different when you're making a game plan to beat Kobe Bryant than when you're making a game plan to beat the Austin Toros," said Gates.  "Obviously I think there's a little bit of a difference, but I think it's still basketball."

Gates is enjoying his second full season as an assistant in the league. 

His first job in the NBA was with the Sacramento Kings last season, but when Monty Williams was named the head coach of the Hornets last summer it was an opportunity to help truly build a franchise and one Gates didn't want to turn down.

"Basically we started all over again here at the beginning of the year," said Gates on moving to New Orleans.  "We only had three returning players and for us to get into the playoffs we had to beat the Jazz.  We had to beat the Suns and all these other teams that were in the playoffs last year and it's something we're very proud of."

Now that the team is in the playoffs Gates is getting his first taste of the post season and it's a whole different animal.

"There's nothing like the atmosphere of the playoffs," Gates repeated more than once.  "During the regular season I moved my chair for Jack Nicholson [a huge Lakers fan and movie star], but in the playoffs I made him walk around.  Nothing is like a playoffs."

Nor Gates or his Hornets team were phased by the stars in Los Angeles as they took game one of the series on Sunday, but they fell to the Lakers in game two on Tuesday night. 

The series shifts back to New Orleans Friday night tied at one and Gates hopes to keep the season alive past this best of seven series with LA.

 

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