The Nuggets made the announcement on Wednesday. Weiss will serve as an assistant coach under head coach Mike Malone. According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, his decision to join Denver is in part to be closer to family, including grandchildren.
It’s easy to understand Weiss’ decision. Coaches often move around the country and away from family, taking jobs where ever available. With the chance to remain in the NBA as an assistant and be closer to home, the move is a no-brainer.
Weiss joined the staff in 2013 along with head coach Steve Clifford. Before joining the Hornets he served as an assistant for numerous NBA teams, and was head coach of the Spurs, Hawks, Clippers, and Super Sonics.
Weiss’ departure follows Patrick Ewing’s, who left the team after last season to become head coach at Georgetown University. Assistant coach Stephen Silas was promoted to head assistant after Ewing left, and the team hired Mike Baptiste this past summer.
The Hornets now have a vacancy to fill as the season approaches, and Clifford hopes to fill it with someone with comparable experience, preferably NBA experience.
One candidate that fits that mold is Jeff Van Gundy. He checks the boxes of having both assistant and head coaching experience, and was one of Clifford’s mentors years back. It seems less likely he would take the job however, since he recently accepted the role of coaching Team USA in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. He could potentially work both roles, but it could be too much to handle for Van Gundy, who hasn’t coached since 2007. If he wanted to ease back into coaching, taking two jobs would be a lot.
Whoever it ends up to be, the search process shouldn’t take long with training camp approaching next month.