Blair Named to Philadelphia 76ers Coaching Staff
EDINBURG, Texas - The Rio Grande Valley Vipers announced Wednesday that head coach Joseph Blair has been called up to join the Philadelphia 76ers coaching staff.
Blair joins the 76ers head coach Brett Brown and his staff as Offensive Assistant Coach.
Blair becomes the fourth coach, fifth overall, in Rio Grande Valley Vipers history to be called up to the NBA. Amongst Blair is Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors head coach, Chris Finch, New Orleans Pelicans associate head coach, and Matt Brase, Houston Rockets assistant coach.
Blair spent one season leading the Vipers to an NBA G League Championship in his 2018-19 campaign. He was named back-to-back NBA G League Coach of the Month; January and February 2019.
During his time with the Vipers, five players were called up to an NBA roster in 2018-19. Danuel House Jr. signed with the Rockets, Brandon Sampson joined the Chicago Bulls, Gary Payton II signed a 10-day contract with the Washington Wizards, Bruno Caboclo signed with Memphis Grizzlies and Michael Frazier joined the Rockets.
The Vipers were known to be a dangerous team from beyond the arc. RGV led the G League in three categories under Blair's campaign. First in points per game (128.4), rebounds (56.2) and 3-pointers made (90). In addition, the Vipers averaged second in 3-point percentage 41.3 percent, third in assists 24.0 and lastly, fifth in steals 10.0.
In his first season as head coach, Blair led the Vipers to a third G League Championship, becoming the winningest team in the league. RGV averaged 128.4 points in the 2018-19 G League playoffs, 18.0 3-pointers made, 56.2 rebounds, 24.0 assists, 10.0 steals and 5.0 blocks per game.
Blair spent three years as an assistant coach with the Vipers. "First and foremost, it's a blessing. I am just ecstatic, and I can't help but to acknowledge the Rockets organization and the Vipers organization because without what I have learned there and the experience in the Valley in the last four years, I would never be able to position myself to step into this role. So, I thank everyone involved in the organization. That goes from Bert Garcia to Rene Borrego, the fans, to front office, back of house and everyone that was part of my growth and were so kind to me and gave me the opportunity. I am just really thankful and excited for the next chapter of my life."
Before joining RGV, Blair worked at the University of Arizona, serving as an undergraduate assistant during the 2013-14 season and a graduate assistant during the 2014-15 season. Blair was drafted 35th overall by the Seattle Supersonics in the 1996 NBA Draft and played professional basketball from 1996-2009, mostly overseas, including a Euroleague MVP season with Olkerspor of the Turkish League during the 2003 season. He also spent two stints with the Harlem Globetrotters, first in 1997-98 and in 2001.
"I am thankful and appreciative of everything that I've had in the Valley. I looked back in the history of the Vipers, and I don't think there has ever been a coach in the history of the team that has been there four years straight. The friendships I've made there, the warmth of the community and seeing it grow, the excitement around the Vipers has been amazing. I am so glad I was part of opening the new arena and bringing a championship to the organization and the community that deserved one," Blair added.
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NBA G League Stories from June 26, 2019
- Blair Named to Philadelphia 76ers Coaching Staff - Rio Grande Valley Vipers
- Gansey Named Head Coach of Indiana Pacers Summer League Team - Fort Wayne Mad Ants
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