On Thursday, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault will miss the team’s upcoming road swing and, in his place, assistant coach Dave Bliss will be acting head coach.
With his wife due to give birth, Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault won't accompany the Thunder on a three-game trip starting Friday in Milwaukee. Assistant coach Dave Bliss will take over as acting head coach.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 18, 2021
For many basketball fans, this announcement sent up red flags because when they think of Dave Bliss, they think of the former Baylor Bears head coach who resigned after an investigation revealed he’d made illicit tuition payments for players and attempted to frame one of them posthumously as a drug dealer in order to make himself look better. The NCAA hit Bliss with a 10-year “show-cause” notice in 2005 and he has effectively been persona non grata since.
Well, the good news is that this Dave Bliss is not that Dave Bliss. This Dave Bliss, who has to, unfortunately, share the same name as the disgraced coach, has been with the Thunder for a few seasons now. He previously served as a player development coach with the New York Knicks and had worked with the Thunder before that as a video analyst/player development coach. He’s also served as the head coach of the Thunder’s summer league team.
As you might imagine, plenty of people around the NBA world were very happy to realize that this Dave Bliss was not the other Dave Bliss and made sure to point that out.
This is not *that* Dave Bliss, in case you’re wondering. https://t.co/HoNhfAGlIn
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) November 18, 2021
FYI it’s not *that* Dave Bliss https://t.co/Vx14ocT0WY
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 18, 2021
I checked — it’s a different Dave Bliss. https://t.co/cGPJ7Sqdi6
— Josh Levin (@josh_levin) November 18, 2021
I had to Google to make sure this wasn’t THAT Dave Bliss. https://t.co/eRBSDUapkw
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 18, 2021
man if i were basketball coach dave bliss that would absolutely not be my name anymore https://t.co/NlRzgbHGvs
— the smoking musket (@smokingmusket) November 18, 2021
Everyone, and we mean everyone, is very happy that this Dave Bliss is the Dave Bliss getting this opportunity. Congrats to Dave Bliss and only this Dave Bliss.