May 2, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder physical therapist and athletic trainer Vanessa Brooks (left) and assistant coach Dave Bliss (right) watch their team play against the Phoenix Suns during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.


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.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to