Riley: “Not a new culture, but to tightening the screws on a culture that sometimes erodes just a little bit.”
After a league source told the Miami Herald earlier this month that Malik Allen was expected to be hired by the Heat to fill Juwan Howard’s spot as an assistant coach on Erik Spoelstra’s staff, the Heat announced the news Wednesday.
“I am excited to welcome Malik back to the Heat family,” Spoelstra said in a statement issued by the team. “We have always loved and respected his work ethic and passion for the game. He has Miami Heat DNA. Malik has been committed to learning and improving at this craft of coaching the last five years and we look forward to him being an impactful addition to our staff.”
With Howard moving on to become the head coach at the University of Michigan, Allen is a logical choice to fill Howard’s spot with the Heat seemingly in need of an assistant coach who has NBA playing experience as a big man and/or experience coaching big men.
Allen, who turns 41 on June 27, spent this past season as an assistant coach with the Timberwolves, and remained on Minnesota’s staff this offseason even after a coaching change was made from Tom Thibodeau to Ryan Saunders.
Allen, a 6-10 forward who spent the first three-plus seasons of his 10-year NBA playing career with the Heat after signing with Miami in 2001 as an undrafted free agent, also spent four seasons (2014-18) as an assistant coach with the Pistons under former Heat coach Stan Van Gundy.
With the addition of Allen, the Heat’s current coaching staff under Spoelstra includes assistant coaches Dan Craig, Chris Quinn (also director of player development), Octavio De La Grana (also a player development coach) and Allen, video coordinator/player development coach Eric Glass, player development coach Anthony Carter and shooting consultant Rob Fodor.
Glass will serve as the Heat’s summer league coach for the second consecutive year, according to a league source.
Allen is the third member of the Heat’s coaching staff with NBA playing experience, joining Quinn and Carter. Quinn and Carter were both guards.