It’s not every day that a head coach in the NBA G-League can add someone who played 949 games in the NBA and has coaching experience at the collegiate level to his coaching staff, so when Texas Legends coach Bob MacKinnon Jr. had the opportunity to hire Eric Snow last summer as an assistant coach, he jumped at the chance.
Snow, 44, is in his first season with the Legends and the Michigan State product who played in three NBA Finals has been a welcome addition to the organization.
He has great experience,” MacKinnon said. “He’s such a genuine person and can relate his experiences to the players so well. His family’s been a part of everything. He’s taken guys over to his house. Just making players feel comfortable is a big thing. They come in here and it’s hard sometimes. They’re thrown into the mix and Eric gives them a comfort level that allows them to succeed on the court.”
And even though he and MacKinnon have only been working alongside one another for less than a year, there is already an immense level of mutual respect between them.
It’s great. He has welcomed me with open arms, gives me the freedom to coach the guys and feed him information. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation,” Snow said. “At the same time, his knowledge and experience in the G-League has been wonderful for me.”
MacKinnon has also helped make Snow’s family feel welcome here in Frisco.
My family loves him, he’s been great to me, great to my family. I’m thankful to work and learn from him and work with him,” Snow said. “We share our experiences. We’ve already talked about the older days. He has a relationship with Larry Brown, who coached me, so we have a lot of similarities that we didn’t know until we started talking this past summer.”
Snow’s final season as a player was in 2009 with Cleveland. In 2012, he was hired by Larry Brown, who coached him in Philadelphia, to be SMU’s Director of Player Development.
He remained with the Mustangs through 2014, when he became an assistant coach at Florida Atlantic, where he worked for two seasons before taking last season off.
Snow spending 13 seasons in the NBA and playing for three championships gives him great credibility with his players who want to reach similar heights in their careers.
The biggest credibility with these guys is playing at the level that they all want to be (at). Then it comes down to them knowing that you truly care about them and you’re trying to help them,” Snow said.
They’ve got to feel that and that’s my goal, to help the guys and to help them accomplish their goals. The experience of playing, I can obviously lean on that and playing for different coaches. Experience is still the best teacher.”
Snow hopes to one day become a head coach, no matter whether that’s a job in high school, college or the professional ranks.
In late January, the Legends reeled off seven consecutive wins. And Snow, who played 103 playoff games during his NBA career, feels that Texas making the G-League Playoffs for the first time since 2011 is a distinct possibility.
And that’s a scenario Snow knows will benefit these young players more than they might realize.
I think it would be great. I think we have a great opportunity to do that and then you’re seeing that’s another experience that helps you when there’s more on the line and you have a chance to win a championship,” Snow said.
“I know that (for) most teams, that’s not necessarily the goal in this league, but it becomes the goal. It would be great for the organization, it’d be great for the coaches and management, and it’d definitely be great for the players to have a chance to get in those playoffs, and obviously great for the fans that come out and support them. You’re giving them a different experience and something to strive for in the future.”