Jerry Zgoda's NBA Insider: Ex-Wolves assistant Bayno moving on up

  • Updated: March 8, 2014 - 2:53 PM

The former Timberwolves assistant finds himself with a near-playoff lock.

hide

Bill Bayno, left, was an assistant coach for Rick Adelman the past two years with the Timberwolves before leaving to take over the top assistant job with the Raptors last offseason.

Photo: MARK TERRILL • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Bill Bayno sought a more secure and cosmopolitan life and perhaps a way back to a head-coaching job when he left the Timberwolves last summer for Toronto’s top assistant position.

In doing so, he joined a franchise that’s now aimed firmly at the playoffs.

The Raptors — visitors Sunday night at Target Center — changed the course of their season with a December trade that sent away star forward Rudy Gay and brought back four players who have solidified the team’s bench. It also has given guard DeMar DeRozan the space and freedom to blossom into a star.

The Raptors arrive Sunday well over .500 and battling Chicago for third place in the Eastern Conference while the Wolves team for which Bayno worked the past two seasons is chasing a distant playoff spot in the more competitive West.

“It has been a fun year,” Bayno said last week from Toronto.

The assistant coach who Wolves fans might most remember for banging center Nikola Pekovic with oversized pads during warm-ups left last summer when Bayno was uncertain if Rick Adelman would return this season and Raptors coach Dwane Casey offered his coaching staff’s top job.

The offer gave Bayno the chance to join a coach he’d known for a decade, ever since Bayno made a minor-league stop in Yakima, Wash., while trying to rebuild his life and his career and traveled to Seattle to watch SuperSonics coach Nate McMillan run practices with a coaching staff that included Casey.

“It was a move up, and in this league that’s hard to get,” said Bayno, 51. “When I looked at all of it, Dwane Casey was a lot like Rick. A great guy who delegates and lets you coach. I loved it in Minnesota. I loved working for Rick, but at the time all this came up there was still a good chance he wasn’t coming back.”

The move took him to Toronto, a destination he considers the Canadian version of the New York City that he dearly loves. Bayno grew up in a small town less than an hour north, but received his basketball education on the playgrounds of New York City and its boroughs.

“It’s a smaller, cleaner New York, culturally diverse,” Bayno said. “That’s how I grew up. I love the diversity and the people are really friendly. I’m a city guy. I love the energy of a big city.”

Casey, the former Wolves coach, pursued Bayno because he considers the former UNLV and Loyola Marymount head coach a “very good teacher” for a team that has its fair share of young players.

Bayno also worked for John Calipari at Massachusetts, Larry Brown at Kansas and P.J. Carlesimo at Seton Hall.

“We’re still in that teaching stage,” Casey said earlier this season, after the Raptors traded Gay for Patrick Patterson, Greivis Vasquez as well as veterans John Salmons and Chuck Hayes. “Whether we like it or not, we’re still in that development stage.”

Now Bayno tutors Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas — just as he did Pekovic and the Wolves’ other post players — and leaves himself open to accepting a head-coaching job again.

Hired by UNLV at age 32, Bayno, 12 years sober now, admittedly drank too much the first time around. He quit after just three games at Loyola Marymount his second time around when an anxiety disorder and the job’s responsibilities left him unable to sleep nights.

“I’m open to that now, for sure 100 percent,” said Bayno, who partly credits meditation for helping him find balance in his life. “If that’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. I’m not stressing over it. I love my job. I’m not going to go out there and promote myself. If someone feels I’m the right guy for the job, I’m ready to do that now.”

Let it fly

Gerald Green

While TNT televised the Los Angeles Clippers’ 48-point rout of the Lakers in its Thursday doubleheader … Phoenix’s guard Gerald Green’s scored a career-high 41 points in Thursday’s sizzling 128-122 home victory over Oklahoma City that so very few people saw.

The Suns needed the comeback victory in their pursuit of the playoffs, especially considering they play 14 of their final 21 games on the road.

“I’m not trying to be selfish, but I want it every time,” Green told reporters after he made six three-pointers and scored 25 points in the third quarter alone. “I’m not afraid to take big shots. I’m not afraid to take any type of shots. I want to embrace those shots. I don’t think I’ve earned the right to do that yet. I’m still trying to prove myself to this team and this league. “

A loss like no other

The Lakers’ 48-point loss Thursday beat by two the franchise record for most lopsided loss: The Lakers lost 129-83 at Portland in 1995. The franchise’s worst home loss was by 39 points to Boston in 1960, its last season in Minneapolis before the team moved to L.A.

“Clearly, you like the bragging rights,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters after beating the team the Clippers share a city and an arena with.

Why we can’t be friends?

Paul George

Indiana’s Paul George last week said he’d like to spend time this summer learning from LeBron James, who in turn said he’d be willing to mentor the Pacers’ blossoming star.

Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley is one guy who doesn’t like the idea, no sir.

“Paul George, I like you,” Barkley said. “You’re a great player, but you can’t say you want to be mentored by LeBron James. That’s wrong. I love Michael Jordan like a brother, but I would never ask [Jordan] for advice on how to beat him. Same with Larry Bird. I admire and respect him, so I would never ask him for advice. You should want to beat your friends more than anybody.”

THE WOLVES’ WEEK AHEAD

Sunday: 6 p.m. vs. Toronto (FSN Plus)

Tuesday: 7 p.m. vs. Milwaukee (FSN)

Friday: 6 p.m. vs. Charlotte (FSN)

Player to watch: DeMar DeRozan, Raptors

– after the Wolves selected Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn fifth and sixth overall — is blossoming into a star and a frontrunner for the league’s most improved player award. He has scored 30 or more points in four of his past seven games.

VOICES

« My feeling is we’re not that .500 team. »

– but not much better – all season.

  • related content

  • Suns' Green letting it fly

    Saturday March 8, 2014

    Let it flyWhile TNT televised the Los Angeles Clippers’ 48-point rout of the Lakers in its Thursday doubleheader … Phoenix’s...

  • Wolves week ahead

    Saturday March 8, 2014

    THE WOLVES’ WEEK AHEADSunday: 6 p.m. vs. Toronto (FSN Plus)Tuesday: 7 p.m. vs. Milwaukee (FSN)Friday: 6 p.m. vs. Charlotte (FSN)Player...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 85 4th Qtr 6:42
Denver 84
Indiana 93 4th Qtr 4:24
LA Clippers 92
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 73 FINAL
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 64 1st OT 3:20
UNLV 64
CS-Northridge 46 2nd Half 6:51
Oregon 71
Grambling St 35 2nd Half 3:30
Washington 82
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close