Former Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Sam Mitchell will reportedly coach the newly-formed G League Select Team.
Mitchell’s hiring has not yet been confirmed by the G League, but during an interview on ESPN, he referred to the Select Team as “we.”
“Some of these kids are ready, some of these kids don’t want to go to school, they want to be pros,” Mitchell said. “They want that lifestyle, and that’s the thing that we’re going to teach them.”
The team will also reportedly feature veteran players along with the prospects from high school.
“We’re going to try to fill out the rest of the roster with guys who know how to play, guys that know how to be mentors, but also guys that can teach these guys how to play and how to win and how to be a pro,” Mitchell said, per Adam Zagoria of Forbes. “They’re going to try to surround these kids with all different type of players, the type of players that they’re going to have to play on a team with.”
The main goal for Mitchell as head coach is to teach young prospects and the focus will be on developing “life and pro skills.”
“There’s a lot of things to being a pro other than being able to dribble and shoot and pass,” Mitchell said. “How do you handle playing time? All of these kids are not going to be the No. 1 player on their team when they get drafted day one. And being on this team, the way it’s going to be constructed, they’re going to have to learn all these things.”
Mitchell continued, “Yeah, it’s for their development, for their growth, but it’s also going to teach them a lot of life skills and professional skills that they’re going to need to navigate throughout the NBA if they want a long career.”
It was previously reported that David Fizdale and Brian Shaw were also considered for the coaching job.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Fizdale and Shaw still end up having a role with the team, a source told Zagoria.
Mitchell won the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2006/2007 with the Raptors.
The Mamba Sports Academy could serve as the home of the Select Team.