Filling up the Seats: Erman and Pack

Published: June 2, 2015

The New Orleans Pelicans are wasting no time in filling up the rest of their bench. According to Yahoo! Sports, the New Orleans Pelicans are closing in on signing defensive guru Darren Erman to be the associate head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans are also working on a deal to secure Robert Pack as an assistant coach as well.

Erman fits the bill as the young defensive-minded assistant coach that the Pelicans needed to slate next to new head coach Alvin Gentry.  Erman was first hired as an NBA assistant coach in 2007 by the Boston Celtics, where he worked under Doc Rivers and alongside Tom Thibodeau in helping create a defense that led the Celtics to becoming the 2007-2008 NBA champions. In Erman’s time with Boston, he also coached alongside former NBA head coach Lawrence Frank as well.

After Boston, Erman joined Mark Jackson with Golden State for the 2012-2013 NBA season. Erman led the Warriors to a huge improvement, taking them from 26th to 11th in his first year, and from 11th to 3rd in the following year. Erman’s time is in Golden State is mired by the way he was fired, after he was secretly taping meetings with other coaches and players.

Erman wasn’t unemployed for long, as the Celtics immediately hired him as their Director of Scouting (and Doc Rivers tried to bring him over to the Los Angeles Clippers), then put him in charge of the Celtics defense this year. New Orleans can expect the defense to look a lot different with Erman at the helm. He famously argued with Mike Malone in Golden State when both were assistant coaches, about the kind of defense that should be employed, with Malone preferring to show on picks, and Erman preferring his big-men to sink. The Warriors successfully executed Erman’s defense (and have built on it to have the number one rated defense in the league this year) while the Pelicans ran a version of Malone’s show defense this year, resulting in the 22nd rated defense in the league.


Robert Pack was born in New Orleans, and went to school at Alfred Lawless High School. Pack is a former NBA player who went undrafted, but still managed to carve out a 13-year career as a point guard. Pack even spent a year playing for the New Orleans Hornets. He got his start as an assistant coach with New Orleans during the 2009-2010 NBA season, before moving on to the Los Angeles Clippers, where he was an assistant from 2010-2013. The last two years, Pack was an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder under head coach Scott Brooks.


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