Before he’d gush about becoming the D-Fenders’ head coach, former Lakers reserve Mark Madsen had a score to settle.
Madsen fondly recalled first driving to the Lakers’ practice facility in 2000 in a Toyota minivan and sporting khakis, only for Shaquille O’Neal to rip his fashion choices and force him to go shopping. Apparently, the tables have turned after Madsen saw O’Neal recently on set as a TNT analyst.
“Shaquille, I saw that last suit you were wearing on TNT,” Madsen said Tuesday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “Let’s just say your wardrobe needs a fresh set of eyes. I’m happy to be that guy.”
Madsen sounded more than happy to earn his first head-coaching gig after spending two assistant coaching stints both at his alma mater Stanford (2012-13) and with the Development League’s Utah Flash (2009-10). But considering he became a fan favorite during the Lakers’ 2001 and 2002 championship runs partly because of his goofy dancing in team parades, it was inevitable plenty of the press conference would center on that facet.
Namely, would Madsen dance again if the D-Fenders win a championship?
“I’m not going to divulge what’s going to happen,” Madsen said with a smile. “That is the goal to win a championship with the D-Fenders. But if I see some media members out there dancing, it could motivate the coaching staff more.”
Or perhaps backup center Robert Sacre could convince him. It’s likely the Lakers will resign the second year center because of his cheap price tag. If he returns, Sacre would likely play in at least a few D-League stints. He became a fan favorite this season for his colorful celebrations on the bench.
“He’s at a nice level,” Madsen said. “I’ll have to text my contacts with Dancing at the Stars and send them along to Robert.”
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