The Denver Nuggets are in the market for an assistant coach, after The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported this morning that Chris Fleming was headed to the Brooklyn Nets to join new head coach Kenny Atkinson’s staff.
Denver assistant Chris Fleming is joining Kenny Atkinson’s staff with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) May 24, 2016
Fleming, who BSN Denver profiled in October, is a New Jersey native with long ties to new Nets coach Atkinson. Fleming gained notoriety on on the international basketball scene, where served as head coach of the German national team since 2014 and played in Germany for the Quakenbrück Dragons from 1994-2000 before becoming the team’s coach.
Fleming would go on to have major success as a head coach in Germany. His teams won four German Cups, four German league championships and three German Supercup championships. Fleming was also named German Coach of the Year in 2011. He coached NBA stars Dirk Nowitzki and Dennis Schroder for Germany during last summer’s EuroBasket and is currently preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“A lot of people think that Chris Fleming is German,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone in October. “He’s from Jersey. He’s from the Jersey Shore. Chris and I actually played together at the very famous Five-Star basketball camps when we were both in high school.”
After high school, Fleming played for the Richmond Spiders, where he and Atkinson were teammates for two seasons. His career is now coming full-circle, reuniting with Atkinson on a Brooklyn staff that is starting from scratch after trading away multiple first-round draft picks over the past few years. Fleming’s knowledge of the European game will be crucial for a team that needs to widen its search for talent beyond the lottery.
With the potential for more draft-and-stash foreign players coming to the Nuggets in the 2016 draft, Malone and general manager Tim Connelly may look for another assistant with international chops.
As of now there have been no names to emerge as a replacement for Fleming.