Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has made the first step in filling out his coaching staff.
He has recently hired Larry Lewis as a player development coach after spending the past two seasons on the D-Fenders coaching staff, the Lakers’ Development League affiliate. The hiring was later confirmed by Lakers spokesman John Black.
D’Antoni plans to hire two full-time assistants and one more player development coach after most of his staff in the 2012-13 season left for varying reasons. Eddie Jordan accepted the Rutgers’ head-coaching job shortly before the NBA playoffs. D’Antoni informed both Bernie Bickerstaff and Chuck Person they would not be retained. Steve Clifford became the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. Phil Handy joined Mike Brown’s staff in Cleveland and Darvin Ham joined Mike Budenholzer’s coaching staff in Atlanta, moves where both will have a larger roles as assistant than they did under D’Antoni. Mike’s brother, Dan, remains the lone assistant that will stay for next season.
Lewis spent two years with the D-Fenders both as a player development coach (2011-12 season) and assistant coach (2012-13 season). Before that, Lewis played mostly overseas in Argentina (2011), Spain (2001-2011), Japan (1996-2001), Cyprus (1996), Great Britain (1993) and the Dominican Republic (1992). Lewis also won a silver medal with Team USA in the 1995 Pan American Games. And he had stints in the Continental Basketball Association with the Harrisburg Hammerheads and Rapid City Thrillers (1994-95), and for Team USA (1995) in the Pan American Games where he won a silver medal. A three-year collegiate basketball player and alumnus of Morehouse College, Lewis turned pro when he was selected by the Albany Patroons of the CBA in 1992.
Lewis, a Los Angeles native, played basketball at Morehouse College before playing for the Albany Platoons of the CBA in 1992. He then had stops in Harrisburg (1994) and Rapid City (1995) before playing one season with Sarasota in the United States Basketball League (1996).
D’Antoni is expected to round out the rest of his coaching staff within the next couple of weeks. One possibility remains Alvin Gentry, who worked as an assistant for D’Antoni in Phoenix, and Nate McMillan, who coached with D’Antoni with Team USA in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. But those hiring would hinge on whether Gentry and/or McMillan land head-coaching spots.
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