Scott Skiles

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Scott Skiles
Scott Skiles bench cropped.jpg
Skiles coaching the Milwaukee Bucks in 2011
Orlando Magic
Position Head coach
League NBA
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–present
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
2015–present Orlando Magic
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 6,652 (11.1 ppg)
Assists 3,881 (6.5 apg)
FT% .889
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Scott Allen Skiles (born March 5, 1964) is an American basketball coach and former player. He currently is the head coach of the Orlando Magic. He also coached the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, and Milwaukee Bucks. A first-round draft pick out of Michigan State University, Skiles played ten seasons as a point guard in the NBA. He holds the NBA record for assists in one game with 30, set in his fifth season in the league and second with Orlando, in which he also earned the 1990–91 NBA Most Improved Player Award.

High school and college[edit]

In 1982, Skiles led Plymouth High School to the Indiana State Championship. With no starter taller than 6' 2" and no-one on the team over 6' 6", Plymouth was considered the weakest of the final four teams in the tournament even though they were ranked #4 in the state with a record of 26-1 entering the state finals.[citation needed] 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, the inspiration for the 1986 film Hoosiers. 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[clarification needed] 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]

NBA career[edit]

The Milwaukee Bucks made Skiles the 22nd 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).

Milwaukee Bucks[edit]

Skiles was little used his rookie season with the Bucks, averaging 3.8 points and 3.5 assists in just 13 games off the bench.

Indiana Pacers[edit]

With the Indiana Pacers the next season Skiles averaged even fewer minutes but played in more games, increasing his scoring marginally to 4.4 points and posting the same 3.5 assists per game in 50 games, just two of them starts. He played in 80 games in 1988-89, starting just 13 and averaging 6.8 points and 4.9 assists in slightly under 20 minutes a game.

Orlando Magic[edit]

In 1989 Skiles was selected by the newly formed Orlando Magic in the NBA expansion draft. Mainly a backup point guard, he scored 7.7 points and posted 4.8 assists in 20.9 minutes per game in 70 games, 48 off the bench. In 1990-91 he transitioned to a starting role at the position, jumping to a career high 17.2 points and improved 8.4 assists in 34.4 minutes over 79 games and 66 starts. The season was highlighted on December 30, 1990, when 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] His well more than doubling scoring and nearly doubling his assists marks from the previous year earned him the NBA Most Improved Player Award.

The next year, 1991-92, was a bit of a backslide, dropping to 14.1 points and 7.3 assists in 31.7 minutes in 75 games, with games started, field goals made, field goal percentage, 2-pointers made, 2-point percentage, 3-pointers made, 3-point percentage, free throws, free throw percentage, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, and steals all falling off.

1992-93 saw a bouncing back nearly across the board, with scoring up to 15.4 points, a career high 9.4 assists, and career highs in shooting percentage and 2-point shooting percentage in a career high 39.6 minutes in 78 games, all starts.

Skiles played in all 82 games in 1993-94 but only started 46, showing severe drop-offs in minutes, field goals, field goal percentage, 2-pointers made, 2-point percentage, rebounds, assists, and scoring, posting just 9.9 points and 6.1 assists per game.

Washington Bullets[edit]

As a Washington Bullets in 1994-95 Skiles' minutes were back up to 33.5 per game in just 62 games, all starts, and improvements were shown in virtually every statistical category, though points per game only rose to 13.0 and assists to 7.3.

Philadelphia 76ers[edit]

It was one and out in D.C., with Skiles moving on to the Philadelphia 76ers in his final NBA season in 1995-96. Appearing in only 10 games Skiles stats backslid again, with only 6.3 points and 3.8 assists in 23.6 minutes per game over 9 starts. With that the NBA lost one of its scrappiest players and best free-throw shooters.

Greek League[edit]

PAOK[edit]

Nursing a serious shoulder injury in 1996, Skiles left the U.S. for the Greek League, joining PAOK in Thessaloniki. Expectations were high for the new arrival from the NBA, but midway through the season injuries and contract problems with key players threatened the season for both PAOK and French coach Michel Gomez. Still struggling with injury himself, and increasingly at odds with Gomez, Skiles 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]

Skiles returned to the NBA for the 1997-1998 season as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns, being elevated to head coach in 1999.

Phoenix Suns[edit]

Under Skiles Phoenix compiled a .595 Won-Loss record and made the playoffs in two of his three years as head coach, including a first-round win over the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in 2000.

Chicago Bulls[edit]

After a two-year absence from the game, Skiles came to the Chicago Bulls as head coach in 2003. He immediately 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 league high 26 straight games below 100 points. An NBA best 13-3 mark in January 2005 earned Skiles the NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honor.

The 2006 Bulls went 41-41 record, earning a 7th seed in the playoffs falling to 2nd seeded Miami Heat in six games. In 2007 the Bulls improved to a 49-33 and again faced the Heat in the first round of the post-season, this time sweeping them in four games. They lost the first three games of the second-round against the top-seeded Detroit Pistons, dropping the last at the United Center after holding a double-digit lead for much of the game. After a two-game rally they were eliminated in six.

The Bulls had high expectations heading into the 2007-2008 season. Mired in last place in the Central Division 25 games in, they were 9-16 when Skiles was fired by general manager John Paxson on December 24, 2007.[3]

Milwaukee Bucks[edit]

On April 21, 2008, a report surfaced[according to whom?] that Skiles verbally agreed to become the new head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Proved true, he led the Bucks to a 34-48 record in the 2008-2009 season. Injuries to key players Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut marred the season, but Skiles was given a show of support by general manager John Hammond.[citation needed]

The next season Skiles had success with an improving, if still young, core led by Bogut at center and Brandon Jennings at point guard. 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 mark, 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]

Skiles' five-year stint in Milwaukee ended on January 8, 2013, when he and the Bucks mutually agreed to part ways.[4]

Orlando Magic[edit]

On May 29, 2015, former team point guard Skiles joined the Orlando Magic as the franchise's 12th head coach.[5]

Head coaching record[edit]

Legend
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
Phoenix 1999–00 62 40 22 .645 3rd in Pacific 9 4 5 .444 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Phoenix 2000–01 82 51 31 .622 3rd in Pacific 4 1 3 .250 Lost in First Round
Phoenix 2001–02 51 25 26 .490 (fired)
Chicago 2003–04 66 19 47 .288 8th in Central Missed Playoffs
Chicago 2004–05 82 47 35 .573 2nd in Central 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
Chicago 2005–06 82 41 41 .500 4th in Central 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
Chicago 2006–07 82 49 33 .598 3rd in Central 10 6 4 .600 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Chicago 2007–08 25 9 16 .360 (fired)
Milwaukee 2008–09 82 34 48 .415 5th in Central Missed Playoffs
Milwaukee 2009–10 82 46 36 .555 2nd in Central 7 3 4 .429 Lost in First Round
Milwaukee 2010–11 82 35 47 .427 3rd in Central Missed Playoffs
Milwaukee 2011–12 66 31 35 .470 3rd in Central Missed Playoffs
Milwaukee 2012–13 32 16 16 .500 (resigned)
Career 876 443 433 .506 42 18 24 .429

Quotes[edit]

  • When asked by a reporter in 2003 to describe what Eddy Curry could do to improve his rebounding, Coach Skiles responded: "Jump."[6]
  • 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."[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[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". NBA.com. 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". NBA.com. January 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ Hightower, Kyle (May 29, 2015). "Magic tab Skiles as 12th coach in franchise history". National Basketball Association. Retrieved May 30, 2015. 
  6. ^ Isola, Frank (April 11, 2007). "Skiles still not Bullish on Curry". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  7. ^ Gardner, Charles (February 21, 2009). "Varejao ready for Oscar night?". JSOnline Bucks Blog. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 

External links[edit]