Lakers officially hire Mark Madsen and Larry Lewis as player development coaches

ALthough they have already assumed the position and have helped the Lakers’ Summer League team, Mark Madsen and Larry Lewis were officially named Friday as player development coaches on Mike D’Antoni’s staff.

“Both Mark and Larry bring a high level of credibility to our staff,” D’Antoni said in a statement. “Mark has endless energy and is a workaholic. He’s developed players at the college level and I think he’ll do a great job making the jump to the NBA. Larry has proven to be a natural at helping develop players for the D-Fenders since transitioning from nearly two decades of playing abroad and in the CBA. We expect that he will make a great player development coach at the NBA level as well.”

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).

Madsen was originally hired in mid-May to coach the D-Fenders, the Lakers’ Development League affiliate. With Madsen’s sudden promotion, the D-Fenders will soon search for a replacement. He

Madsen, who spent last year in his first season as an assistant at Stanford, played nine years in the NBA and was on the Lakers’ 2001 and 2002 championship teams. He earned a place in Lakers lore both for his constant hustle in practice and for his unique dancing style during championship parades. Madsen also spent two seasons in the D-League as an assistant for the Utah Flash.

“While we were looking forward to having Mark as our head coach for the upcoming season, we’re thrilled that he now has the opportunity to help further develop players on the Lakers roster,” D-Fenders President & CEO Joey Buss said in a statement. “Both he and Larry, who has done a tremendous job working with our players over the past two seasons, are perfect examples of what the D-Fenders are all about; namely developing talent. Having sent eight players to the NBA over the past two seasons, we’re excited to now see the synergy of the Lakers and D-Fenders pay off in the coaching ranks as well.”

Kurt Rambis and Johnny Davis are expected to become D’Antoni’s assistants soon. D’Antoni’s brother, Dan, remains the lone holdover from last season’s coaching staff.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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