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Forgotten by the NBA, Chris Duhon is trying to establish himself in coaching

The NBA is the perfect theater for making childhood dreams come true, but the NBA also has the particularity of sometimes turning off the light even faster than it turned it on. Off-peak time obliges, this summer we are looking at names that are familiar to us, some more than others, names that “mean something to us” but which no longer really make the first headlines. Stories that bring back a sweet melancholy. Cold Case Closed Cases but NBA version, with the ambition to give you some news of these guys who were once part of our daily lives. Fifth episode? A former Dukie fallen into complete oblivion: Chris Duhon.

wow. His name barely still evokes anything. After a well-stocked college career and a decade in the NBA, Chris Duhon has completely disappeared from circulation. However, the latter was not particularly trying to hide: we just forgot to hear from him. So it’s time to change that.

If you’ve been following the NBA for just a few short years, chances are – and absolutely no one will blame you – that you don’t even know its name. And for good reason, Chris Duhon has never been a flamboyant player, but rather a luxury role player, always ready to lead the second unit. Finally Yes. Let’s not be mean, there is indeed a team in which the 1m85 point guard has had a more than successful career: Duke. Arrived at the Blue Devils in 2000 at the age of 18, the native of Mamou in Louisiana will start as a back-up for Jason Williams. Very quickly, White Chocolate will be shifted to position 2 to form a pair of rear distributors with Chris. That season, Coach K players will also win the title against Arizona. For his part, Christopher Nicholas Duhon – his full name – will stay as long as possible in this team where he excels in his role. When he left it out of obligation in 2004, he left above all an imprint that is still very visible today. Despite the years that have passed since then, Duhon is still the best interceptor in the history of the prestigious university with 300 steals, its second best passer with 819 assists and the second judge to have spent the most time in the blue and white jersey with a total of 4,813 minutes. No regrets, so it’s time to turn to the NBA, where our hero of the day has just been drafted in 38th position by Chicago.

We’re not going to lie to each other, the boy’s career in the Big League is nothing short of transcendent. Having chronologically sailed for nine seasons between Bulls, Knicks, Magic and Lakers, the cousin of Jarrett Jack – yes yes – will have spent most of his time leading the bench thanks to his qualities as a playmaker, and more particularly as a passer. To New York however, he will have been able to try his hand at the role of starter. In the 2008-09 season, his career best, he shot around 11 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists and 1 steal in 37 minutes of play over 79 games. Poor scorer, this will be his only campaign above 10 points on average. Cut off by Los Angeles during the summer of 2013, Chris fails to find a franchise ready to offer him a contract, and an unfortunate event will not help his case. On October 15 of the same year, after a verbal altercation in an underground car park, Duhon was hit by a car. If he does not remember the accident because of the impact he suffered on the head against the windshield of the vehicle, the latter does not however record any serious injuries. Already embarrassed by several sores in previous years, the fragility of the man’s body is at the heart of the debates, and no team will take the risk of signing the one who is then a free agent. In February 2014, a mini Woj Bomb – already – reveals that he managed to land a contract at Juve Caserta, Italy, to revive. Yes but in fact no. Since in reality, he leaves the club… a few hours later. WTF you will tell us. The reason ? His wife Andrea has just given birth to twins, who more than ever need to have their father close to them. Without hesitation, Chris then decides to put an end to his playing career to focus on his role as a dad. It’s nice.

However, according to Mister Duhon, this is not a reason to completely stop working. And as it is impossible for him to move away from the world of the orange ball, the latter will then begin a coaching career. In April 2014, immediately after his retirement, Chris will become Marshall’s assistant coach in the NCAA, in charge of player development and offensive coordination. An opportunity made possible by the very close relationship he has with Dan D’Antoni, himself an assistant to his little brother Mike in New York AND Los Angeles, he who has just been appointed head coach at the university. It’s the start of a new life… the start of which the boy will completely mess up. At the end of November 2015, found lifeless in the driver’s seat of his Ford Escape, Chris Duhon was arrested for drunk driving, two and a half times above the authorized blood alcohol level, and immediately suspended by the Thundering Herds. He will only be reinstated in the team in February 2016, before being definitively fired in January 2017 for having driven… without a licence, since the latter had been withdrawn from him after past events. This is the crisis for Chris, who must therefore start from scratch.

Inevitably, with a liability like this, we do not find a job in two days. After much research, the former leader will finally land a new assistant position at Illinois State University in June 2018. Duhon was recruited in particular for his profile combining experience as a player/NCAA champion and the ability to be very close to youngsters because of his age (36 years old at that time). There, he still takes care of the coordination of the attack, but works more specifically with the guards. However, once again, the adventure was short-lived, ending in 2019. To show himself and hope to have his chance again, he participated in the assistant-coach training program in December 2020 alongside Jerry Stackhouse or even Monty Williams. Asked about this experience, Duhon will return later on the NBA site what it can bring, especially for those with the same profile as him:

“I think it’s a program that is hugely beneficial for former players to understand what it’s like to be a coach and what they go through day and night. The preparation to workouts and to matches, your responsibilities in so much than assistants, learning of different parts from Ia that you not understand maybe not as much in so much that player… that you given just the opportunity to become able to do multiple things. Usuallywhen them old players enter in the world of coachingthey deal only with development of the players. We have learned at TO DO that, but we have too learned them skills techniques required by coaching, to prepare of the presentations, talk before a band, write of the scouting reports and bfine others things. »

Months go by without anything changing, and we really start to wonder… Bingo! In September 2021, the guy was hired by Bryant University, still in the NCAA first division. The challenge is even brand new for Christopher, who is now appointed head of the scouting and video analysis. We therefore forget the development of the players, where our guy was visibly slammed on the ground, and we say hello to the work of thoroughness and expertise. This season ? The Bulldogs recorded the best record in their history (22-10) by finishing first in the Northeast Conference, despite an early elimination from the Final Four. We are not saying that it is only thanks to the new recruit of the staff, but it is clear that it is the kind of results that push to keep the organization as it is. And stability, Chris Duhon hasn’t known it since… Duke? In a role completely invisible to the eyes of the general public, the latter may therefore have found the position that will allow him to settle permanently in university coaching, after many years of failure. Come on Chris, if there’s ever a time when you shouldn’t mess around, it’s this one.

Tainted by business that was not at all smart, several sporting failures and not always very inspired speeches like that day he told a somewhat bogus anecdote about Kobe, Chris Duhon’s post-career has not really started in the most beautiful way. Today, in a new role and a situation for the moment stable, the former leader has the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start again, he who is only 39 years old. And since his desire to one day integrate an NBA bench is no secret to anyone, we can hope to hear a little more often about the Dukie in the future, now that we know more about what he is. bECOMES.

Text source: Bleacher Report / Yahoo Sports / ESPN / Sporting News / Real GM / Providence Journal

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