No, it’s not deja vu, you should recognize the name of Josh Oppenheimer, the newly minted Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach who previously worked under both Larry Drew and Jason Kidd. Per a report from Woj, he’ll now be heading to Bud’s staff:
The Milwaukee Bucks are hiring Josh Oppenheimer as an assistant coach, sources tell ESPN. Oppenheimer had previously worked for the team as a member of both the Larry Drew and Jason Kidd coaching staffs.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 23, 2020
Oppenheimer made his bones in Milwaukee as a player development coach, and if you’re looking a blast from the past, take a look at this article from Charles Gardner at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Yes, that’s rookies Nate Wolters and Giannis Antetokounmpo being tutored by Oppenheimer way back then. It’s all come full circle for the former Israeli professional basketball player, as he lands back in Milwaukee with a much different Giannis Antetokounmpo to coach this time around.
He’s jumped around the league for the past few years, spending time in Houston for 2016-17, then joining the Brooklyn Nets G-League squad as an assistant, and finally last year as a part of the college coaching ranks at James Madison University. He’s known as the “shot doctor,” and we all know Giannis’ finest shooting performance came as a rookie under Oppenheimer’s tutelage, nailing 34.7% of his attempts.
Giannis has found some success working with Ben Sullivan, another “shot doctor” on Bud’s current staff, for the past two years, but it’s possible they want someone else to provide another perspective. While Giannis’s 3-point shooting is better given the volume he’s at now, if still an iffy proposition anytime he launches it, plus his free throw percentage took a dive last year down to 63.3%.
It’s also possible that Oppenheimer’s expertise has expanded significantly since several years ago, so we’ll likely have to wait until Bucks practice returns for reports on if Oppenheimer is working directly with Giannis during practices.