Lakers hire Kuester as assistant coach

John Kuester was hired as an assistant coach to new head coach Mike Brown, the Lakers announced this afternoon. Kuester and Brown worked together in Cleveland, so the hiring wasn’t much of a surprise. It figures to be the first of several hires Brown makes as he fills out his coaching staff. Chuck Person, who was an assistant to Phil Jackson the last two seasons, is believed another selection to serve with Brown. Jim Boylen, a former University of Utah coach, is another. Quin Snyder and former Italian national team coach Ettore Messina are believed to be the others in line to join the Lakers’ staff. Snyder was the director of player development with the Philadelphia 76ers last season.

Kuester coached the Detroit Pistons for the last two seasons before being fired. He barely survived a players’ mutiny at midseason. He was 57-107 in two seasons, with the Pistons missing the playoffs twice. The low point of the 2010-11 season came on Feb. 25, when seven players missed all or part of the team’s shootaround and Kuester played only the six who made it on time during a lopsided loss that night to the 76ers.

Kuester benched veteran Richard Hamilton for the better part of seven weeks and also did not play point guard Rodney Stuckey at the start and the end of the season. Kuester was fired earlier this month, after the Pistons ownership changed hands to an investment group headed by California businessman Tom Gores.

Here’s a quote from Kuester about joining Brown’s staff: “I’m extremely excited to be working with Mike Brown, as well as to have the opportunity to work with the Lakers, one of the premier organizations in the NBA.”