Scott Skiles

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Scott Skiles
Scott Skiles bench cropped.jpg
Skiles coaching the Milwaukee Bucks in 2011
Personal information
Born (1964-03-05) March 5, 1964 (age 51)
La Porte, Indiana
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school Plymouth (Plymouth, Indiana)
College Michigan State (1982–1986)
NBA draft 1986 / Round: 1 / Pick: 22nd overall
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Pro career 1986–1997
Position Point guard
Number 5, 3, 4
Coaching career 1996–2013
Career history
As player:
1986–1987 Milwaukee Bucks
19871989 Indiana Pacers
19891994 Orlando Magic
1994–1995 Washington Bullets
1995–1996 Philadelphia 76ers
1996–1997 PAOK Thessaloniki (Greece)
As coach:
1996–1997 PAOK Thessaloniki (Greece)
19992002 Phoenix Suns
20032007 Chicago Bulls
20082013 Milwaukee Bucks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 6,652 (11.1 ppg)
Assists 3,881 (6.5 apg)
FT% .889
Stats at

Scott Allen Skiles (born March 5, 1964) is an American former professional basketball player and the former head coach of the NBA's Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, and Milwaukee Bucks. Skiles holds the NBA record for assists in one game with 30. In 1990–91 he won the NBA Most Improved Player Award.

High school and college[edit]

In 1982, Skiles led Plymouth High School to the Indiana State Championship. Plymouth, with no starter taller than 6'2" and no reserve taller than 6'6", was considered to be the weakest of the final four teams in the tournament that year even though they were ranked #4 in the state with a record of 26-1 entering the state finals. Amazingly, they won the state title with a 75-74 double overtime victory over favored Gary Roosevelt. In that game Skiles scored 39 points (to follow-up his 30 point performance against Indianapolis Cathedral that morning) to lead the Pilgrims past the Roosevelt Panthers. His long 22-foot (6.7 m) field goal, that was well beyond where the current three-point line is (no three-point shot existed in 1982) as time expired sent the game into overtime. With a student body of 900, Plymouth was the smallest school to win the championship in the single-class era since Milan in 1954. Skiles scored 25 of his 39 points in the championship game after the third quarter of play. During the 1982 season Skiles led the state in scoring, averaging 30.2 points per game. He set several records during high school, including most points in a home game (63) and most points in an away game (76). He left Plymouth as the school's all-time career scoring leader (1,788 points), a record that would stand until 2005. Skiles had his number 22 jersey retired at Plymouth High School in 1992.

Skiles attended Michigan State University, where in his senior season he was a First Team All-America selection as well as the Big Ten Conference MVP and scoring champion. He left MSU as its all-time career scoring leader (2,145 points) and still holds the Spartans' record for most points scored in a season (850). While in East Lansing, he was arrested and charged with felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The cocaine charge was dropped, and Skiles pleaded guilty to the marijuana possession. He was arrested and charged with drunken driving a year later and served 15 days in jail. During his senior season, Skiles committed a parole violation on an earlier marijuana conviction, and served a brief jail sentence.[1]

Professional playing career[edit]

The Milwaukee Bucks made Skiles the 22nd overall selection of the 1986 NBA Draft. In ten seasons, he played for the Bucks (1986–87), Indiana Pacers (1987–89), Orlando Magic (1989–94), Washington Bullets (1994–95), and Philadelphia 76ers (1995–96).

In 1989 Skiles was selected by the newly formed Orlando Magic in the NBA expansion draft. In that year Skiles became a pivotal sixth man, and as backup point guard amassed 7.7 points per game, 4.8 assists per game, and twenty-one minutes per game. The following year he transitioned to the starting point guard position.

On December 30, 1990, Skiles racked up 30 assists in Orlando's 155-116 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Orlando Arena, breaking Kevin Porter's NBA single-game assists record (29).[2] He averaged 17.2 points and 8.4 assists per game that season, doubling his marks from the previous year and earning the NBA Most Improved Player Award.

In 1996 nursing a serious shoulder injury, Skiles left the U.S. for Europe and joined PAOK in Thessaloniki, Greece. At PAOK expectations were high for the new arrival from the NBA. Midway through the season, however, injuries and contract problems with key players threatened to devolve into a disastrous season for PAOK and French coach Michel Gomez. Still struggling with injury himself, and increasingly at odds with his coach, Scott asked to be released from his contract. Instead, president Lakis Alexopoulos fired Gomez and offered Skiles the job. Despite lacking three of their top players due to injury, Skiles led PAOK to a winning record as coach in the remainder of the '96-'97 season, and an unexpected 3rd place finish in the Greek League, thus assuring a qualification to the following year's Euroleague.

Coaching career[edit]

As an assistant[edit]

The following year Scott Skiles returned to the NBA as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns and was later elevated to head coach in 1999.

Phoenix Suns[edit]

Under Skiles Phoenix compiled a winning record (.595) and made the playoffs in two of his three years, including a first-round win over the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in 2000. The Suns, however, opted to change its head coaching position.

Chicago Bulls[edit]

In 2003 after a two-year absence from the game, Skiles came to the Chicago Bulls as head coach where he focused on improving the young Bulls' defense and developing greater consistency in a talented but underachieving team. In the first full year under his direction, Chicago limited its opposition to an NBA-best .422 field goal percentage and held their opponents to a franchise record and NBA season-high 26 straight games below 100 points. Skiles was named NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January 2005 after guiding the Bulls to an NBA best 13-3 mark in that month.

In 2006 Skiles led his Bulls to a 41-41 record (earning a 7th seed in the playoffs) and faced the Miami Heat (the 2nd seed) in the first round of the playoffs, losing in six games. In 2007 Skiles led the Bulls to a 49-33 record, and again faced the Heat, this time sweeping them in four games. The Bulls, however, went on to lose the first three games of their second-round series against the top-seeded Detroit Pistons, losing Game 3 at the United Center after holding a double-digit lead for much of the game. After winning two consecutive games to stave off elimination, the Pistons finally finished off Skiles and the Bulls in six games.

Skiles was fired from the Bulls on December 24, 2007. At the time the Bulls were last in the Central Division with a 9-16 record after having high expectations heading into the season. "This was a difficult decision to make, but one that was necessary at this time," Bulls general manager John Paxson said in a press release.[3]

Milwaukee Bucks[edit]

On April 21, 2008, a report surfaced that Skiles verbally agreed to become the new head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.[according to whom?]

Skiles led the Bucks to a 34-48 record in the 2008-2009 season. The season was marred by injuries to key players Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut, and Skiles was given a show of support by general manager John Hammond .[citation needed]

In the Bucks' 2009-2010 season Skiles had success with an improving, if still young, core led by center, Andrew Bogut, and point guard, Brandon Jennings. Midseason trades for John Salmons and Jerry Stackhouse gave Skiles both a reliable shooter and a veteran presence on the Bucks' bench. Most NBA prognosticators picked the Bucks to finish last in the Eastern Conference, but the team's defense helped the Bucks beat several of the top teams in the NBA. After a gruesome injury to Bogut's right arm on April 3, 2010, Skiles coached his team to a decisive victory over the heavily favored Phoenix Suns. Three days later Skiles and the Bucks clinched a playoff berth by beating the Chicago Bulls in Chicago. They finished the regular season with a 46-36 record, their first winning record in seven years. Skiles was frequently mentioned in NBA Coach of the Year talks, eventually finishing second to Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.[citation needed]

On January 8, 2013, Skiles and the Bucks mutually agreed to part ways, ending his five-year stint in Milwaukee.[4]

Head coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
PHX 1999–00 62 40 22 .645 3rd in Pacific 9 4 5 .444 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
PHX 2000–01 82 51 31 .622 3rd in Pacific 4 1 3 .250 Lost in First Round
PHX 2001–02 51 25 26 .490 (fired)
CHI 2003–04 66 19 47 .288 8th in Central Missed Playoffs
CHI 2004–05 82 47 35 .573 2nd in Central 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
CHI 2005–06 82 41 41 .500 4th in Central 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
CHI 2006–07 82 49 33 .598 3rd in Central 10 6 4 .600 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
CHI 2007–08 25 9 16 .360 (fired)
MIL 2008–09 82 34 48 .415 5th in Central Missed Playoffs
MIL 2009–10 82 46 36 .555 2nd in Central 7 3 4 .429 Lost in First Round
MIL 2010–11 82 35 47 .427 3rd in Central Missed Playoffs
MIL 2011–12 66 31 35 .470 3rd in Central Missed Playoffs
MIL 2012–13 32 16 16 .500 (resigned)
Career 876 443 433 .506 42 18 24 .429


  • When asked by a reporter in 2003 to describe what Eddy Curry could do to improve his rebounding, Coach Skiles responded: "Jump."[5]
  • When questioned about an encounter between Charlie Villanueva and Anderson Varejão, Skiles responded: "I hope they'll launch an investigation to find the sniper who shot Varejao. I thought there was some acting involved."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sports People: Skiles enters jail". The New York Times. May 4, 1986. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  2. ^ "Scott Skiles: The Game I'll Never Forget". December 30, 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  3. ^ "Sports People: Chicago Bulls fire coach Scott Skiles". Chicago Tribune. December 24, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  4. ^ "Bucks and Skiles Mutually Agree to Part Ways". January 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ Isola, Frank (April 11, 2007). "Skiles still not Bullish on Curry". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  6. ^ Gardner, Charles (February 21, 2009). "Varejao ready for Oscar night?". JSOnline Bucks Blog. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 

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