Ohio State Buckeyes assistant and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Chris Jent is heading to the West Coast.
The Sacramento Kings have officially hired the 43-year-old Jent as an assistant coach, the team announced yesterday. Previously this offseason, the Kings tabbed former Cavs assistant Michael Malone as their head coach and it had been rumored for the bulk of the last week that he was targeting Jent to join his staff.
“Adding Chris to our coaching staff provides the team with a coach who will remain loyal to the mission of returning this franchise to prominence,” Malone said in the team press release. “He’s experienced at the professional and collegiate levels, is extremely well-prepared, and has made a significant contribution in every stop along his coaching career.”
An OSU alumnus, Jent’s professional career was not that noteworthy. The 6-foot-7 left-handed forward played just six regular season and 11 playoff games in the NBA, yet won a championship alongside the Houston Rockets in 1993-94. He had much more success overseas, where he played in Australia, Italy, Spain and Greece.
He was then an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2003-04 followed by a year with the Orlando Magic in 2004-05, when he finished the season as an interim head coach. After being dismissed by Orlando, he joined the Cavaliers organization as their Director of Player Development in November 2006. By 2009, he added on the title of assistant coach under head coach Mike Brown.
Jent gained public notoriety for his work as LeBron James’ “personal shooting coach.” In their four seasons together, James improved his effective field goal percentage each year, thus leading to the increasing Ohio appreciation for Jent’s work. He also worked notably with J.J. Hickson and was the final remaining coach from the Brown era.
Then, shockingly, Jent left to join Thad Matta’s crew in Columbus in the summer of 2011. It must have been a heck of a recruiting push to then bring Jent elsewhere, as all public indications seemed to show that he was thrilled to be at Ohio State, where both he and his wife graduated.
Now, he’ll work on developing the young players on the Kings, as highlighted by the oft-rumored star DeMarcus Cousins.