NBA News: Sacramento hires Chris Jent as assistant coach

Ohio State Buckeyes assistant and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Chris Jent is heading to the West Coast.

The Sacramento Kings have officially hired the 43-year-old Jent as an assistant coach, the team announced yesterday. Previously this offseason, the Kings tabbed former Cavs assistant Michael Malone as their head coach and it had been rumored for the bulk of the last week that he was targeting Jent to join his staff.

“Adding Chris to our coaching staff provides the team with a coach who will remain loyal to the mission of returning this franchise to prominence,” Malone said in the team press release. “He’s experienced at the professional and collegiate levels, is extremely well-prepared, and has made a significant contribution in every stop along his coaching career.”

An OSU alumnus, Jent’s professional career was not that noteworthy. The 6-foot-7 left-handed forward played just six regular season and 11 playoff games in the NBA, yet won a championship alongside the Houston Rockets in 1993-94. He had much more success overseas, where he played in Australia, Italy, Spain and Greece.

He was then an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2003-04 followed by a year with the Orlando Magic in 2004-05, when he finished the season as an interim head coach. After being dismissed by Orlando, he joined the Cavaliers organization as their Director of Player Development in November 2006. By 2009, he added on the title of assistant coach under head coach Mike Brown.

Jent gained public notoriety for his work as LeBron James’ “personal shooting coach.” In their four seasons together, James improved his effective field goal percentage each year, thus leading to the increasing Ohio appreciation for Jent’s work. He also worked notably with J.J. Hickson and was the final remaining coach from the Brown era.

Then, shockingly, Jent left to join Thad Matta’s crew in Columbus in the summer of 2011. It must have been a heck of a recruiting push to then bring Jent elsewhere, as all public indications seemed to show that he was thrilled to be at Ohio State, where both he and his wife graduated.

Now, he’ll work on developing the young players on the Kings, as highlighted by the oft-rumored star DeMarcus Cousins.

[Related: DeMarcus Cousins rumors fading, so what’s next for Cavs?]

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Great hire by the Kings. I was really hoping with Brown coming back that Jent would come back as well. I think he would do wonders for a guy like Dion Waiters and even Tristan Thompson.

  • Harv 21

    Sources say LeBron is now leaning toward signing with Sacramento in 2014.


  • mgbode

    word is, LeBron’s signing with Sacramento is contingent on trading Cousins and acquiring Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love, and Kevin Garnett.


  • Harv 21

    So many surprising moves and rumors suddenly swirling around Sac and Lebron cannot be discounted. Look for a Phoenix attempt to pre-empt the Kings’ push for The King with their own moves.


  • Ben Frambaugh

    Don’t start that…they’re in California, but they’re not LA fans, LOL. Besides, you mention trading Cousins…and the “Cousins to Cavs” rumors start all over again.

  • mgbode

    a close source is now saying that Cousins to the Cavs is imminent! No word on who else is involved but it is believed that the protections on the pick owed to the Cavs will loosen. And that the Kings will still never be good enough to give up that pick. With Phoenix now in the mix for Kevin Love, Kings’ team officials worry that their window for LeBron is closing.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Well played sir.