Remember Jacque Vaughn?
Hopefully, most Utah Jazz fans do. He was the Jazz's first-round draft pick in 1997 and served as John Stockton's backup for four seasons. Former coach Jerry Sloan took a liking to him right away and gave him a great deal of responsibility, even as a rookie.
Tonight, Vaughn, 37, will return to EnergySolutions Arena as the head coach of the Orlando Magic.
He's a rookie again, but he's well-prepared for the job. After all, he learned from coaches like Sloan, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich and University of North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who coached Vaughn at Kansas.
"The latter parts of my career, I definitely thought (coaching) was a transition I could make," Vaughn told the Chicago Tribune last month. "I presented myself to my teammates as someone who could relate to guys of different levels. I started in this league, was sixth man, 12th man, didn't dress some nights."
Oddly enough, the Jazz have a couple of backup point guards on their current roster who're likely to follow in Vaughn's footsteps.
If I had to bet, I'd say Earl Watson, 33, and Jamaal Tinsley, 34, will someday be head coaches in the NBA.
In some ways they're already working as assistants.
Watson and Tinsley seem to take special pride in working with Utah's younger players, teaching them the intricacies of the game, both on and off the floor.
Each has said he wants to coach when his playing career is over.
"That's part of who I am, part of my makeup," Watson said Tuesday.
With the return of starter Mo Williams from a foot injury, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin has had to redistribute minutes for his point guards. Watson has played all the backup's minutes over the past two games, but Corbin said he was giving Watson a chance to get into a groove after missing the start of the season while recovering from knee surgery.
Look for both to see more time in the future.
"We'll still work it out, they both deserve to play," Corbin said. "Jamaal has done a tremendous job for us and Earl is working his way back in. It's not going to be a lot of minutes now that Mo's back up to speed, so I want to give the guy who's playing those minutes an opportunity to get a rhythm going before we make a decision."
"We love Jamaal," Corbin added. "We love Earl also."
Most nights, Tinsley and Watson can be seen on the bench instructing -- as well as rooting on -- their young teammates.
Drenched in sweat after an absolutely brutal pre-practice workout, Tinsley said 10 seasons in the league taught him to appreciate whatever opportunities come his way. And now he feels the need to share what he's learned.
"There's nothing you can throw in front of me that can break me," he said. "I've been blessed by being in the NBA this long. I take nothing for granted, I've been through a lot of stuff (and it has) made me a better person. All the stuff I've been through (has made) me a better teammate."
While playing at UCLA, Watson developed a close relationship with the late John Wooden, arguably the best basketball coach of all time. More than just learning the ins and outs of the game, Watson learned valuable life lessons from Wooden, not the least of which is to give back.
Coaching, of course, is in his future.
"Obviously," he said, noting he was offered the chance to be an assistant at St. John's over the offseason.
Like Vaughn, Tinsley and Watson have seen plenty over the years, from the floor as well as on the bench. Perhaps that's how coaching gets in the blood.