Report: Cavs assistant emerges as candidate to join Quin Snyder’s staff on Hawks

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Antonio Lang is reportedly among the candidates to join the coaching staff of Quin Snyder on the Atlanta Hawks.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype noted that Lang is one of a number of options for Snyder, who took over the Hawks in late February and led them to a playoff berth.

“Several assistant coaching candidates have emerged to potentially fill Snyder’s staff next season, including Bryan Bailey, Alex Jensen, Igor Kokoskov, and Antonio Lang, league sources told HoopsHype,” wrote Scotto.

Lang, who turns 51 on May 15, served as an assistant under Snyder for several seasons when the latter was the head coach of the Utah Jazz.

After Lang’s years with the Jazz, he joined the staff of the Cavaliers under former head coach John Beilein in 2019. Beilein’s ill-fated tenure lasted just 54 games, but his replacement, J.B. Bickerstaff, has continued to tap into Lang’s coaching abilities.

Lang’s connections to the Cavaliers date back to 1995, when he was acquired by the team as a player from the Phoenix Suns. Over the next two seasons, he played in a total of 105 games for the Cavs and later returned to the team for 10 games during the shortened 1998-99 season.

Snyder’s return to the sidelines with the Hawks came after he and the Jazz parted ways following eight seasons together. During that span, he compiled an impressive regular season record of 372-264 (.585), but was unable to lead the Jazz beyond the Western Conference semifinals.

The Atlanta job became available after the team dismissed former head coach Nate McMillan, who led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021. McMillan’s success with the team faded following that run.

Changes among assistants on any basketball coaching staff are nothing new, with the Cavaliers likely having a plan in place if Lang does leave.

For Bickerstaff, who recently dealt with criticism about his own coaching talents, the security of his position with the Cavaliers has been confirmed by executive Koby Altman.

The challenge for Bickerstaff, Altman and the team as a whole is to find a way to make deep playoff runs in the years ahead.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.