Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey recently announced that Elston Turner has joined Mike D’Antoni’s staff as the lead assistant coach. Turner has over two decades of coaching experience in the NBA, including four seasons with the Rockets on Rick Adelman’s staff from 2007-08 through 2010-11. Houston was second in the NBA in defensive rating over Turner’s first two seasons on staff.
Turner spent the past three seasons as the lead assistant on Dave Joerger’s staff in Sacramento. This past season, the Kings posted their highest win total dating back to 2006-07. Turner followed Joerger to Sacramento after three seasons in Memphis. Over a two-season span from 2013-14 through 2014-15, the Grizzlies ranked top-five in defensive rating and posted the fifth-best record in the NBA.
Prior to his original stint with the Rockets, Turner spent six seasons on Adelman’s staff in Sacramento from 2000-01 through 2005-06. The Kings made the playoffs in each of those seasons while winning nearly 66% of their games.
The Tennessee native began his NBA coaching career as an assistant with Portland in 1996-97. Over his final two seasons with the Blazers in 1998-99 and 1999-00, the team won over 71% of its games and advanced to the Conference Finals both years.
Turner was the 43rd player taken in the 1981 NBA Draft and appeared in over 500 games across eight seasons. He played alongside Michael Jordan in Chicago in 1986-87 when Jordan averaged a career-high 37.1 points. James Harden’s 36.1 ppg this past season was the highest scoring average by a player since Jordan in 1986-87.