Kings add big man coach Clifford Ray as consultant

A new addition to the Sacramento Kings’ coaching staff was spotted working with Hassan Whiteside following shootaround today.

Clifford Ray, who won championships as a player (1975, Golden State Warriors) and coach (2008, Boston Celtics), has joined head coach Keith Smart’s staff to work with the team’s big men.

“He’s been all over with coaching so he has a great feel,” said Smart of Ray, who’s had NBA stints in Dallas, New Jersey, Golden State, Cleveland, Orlando and Boston.  “Every big guy in the league has come through his hands at one time or another.”

Ray’s recent pupils include Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins.  The well-travelled coach also mentored Erick Dampier in the summer before a career 2003-04 season, when the veteran center averaged bests in points (12.3) and rebounds (12).

Smart called Ray “a communicator, worker (and) great teacher” and praised Ray’s “high energy”.  The Kings head coach worked with Ray in the CBA and in his season as interim head coach of the Cavaliers.

Smart also talked about some of big man nuances and understanding Ray brings to the Kings.

  • Defense
    • Being vocal and loud.
    • “Carrying your hands out high”.  In other words, keeping your arms up as a defender
    • Seeing everything on the floor from your position on the backline of the defense.  Smart says Ray will let players know when they’re not talking enough on defense.
  • Offense
    • How to seal out defenders after catching the ball.
    • How to fight for position in post-up situations.
    • Repositioning oneself when the opposition fronts on defense.

Ray is not expected to travel with the team.  Currently, it appears the Kings’ new consultant will work strictly in Sacramento.


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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.