In a move that finalizes Mike D’Antoni’s coaching staff, the Lakers officially announced that Kurt Rambis and Johnny Davis will becomes his assistants.
The Lakers were strongly expected to make these hirings in recent weeks. But the announcement didn’t happen until Monday morning. Rambis first shared the news on his Twitter account.
It's official. I'm back with the @Lakers. #Assistant coach. Very excited. @ESPN @TWC.
— Kurt Rambis (@KRambis) July 29, 2013
Rambis spent 10 seasons Phil Jackson’s lead assistant coach, had head-coaching stints with both the Lakers (1999) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2009-2011)and won four championships in his nine-year playing career with the Lakers during the Showtime Era. Rambis had spent the last year as an analyst both for ESPN and for Time Warner Cable SportsNet.
Rambis had overseen the Lakers’ defense during Jackson’s coaching tenure and has past experiences coaching Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. It’s possible the Lakers could incorporate more elements of the triangle offense considering Rambis’ ties to Jackson, though that currently remains unclear.
Still, it’s worth noting that D’Antoni hired Mike Woodson as a defensive specialist in New York only to resign a season later.
Johnny Davis has had several assistant and head-coaching stints over the years with the Philadelphia 76ers (1996-97), Magic (2003-05) and Memphis Grizzlies (2009).
“Kurt and Johnny bring many years of NBA experience both as coaches and as former players to this team,” D’Antoni said in a statement. “Kurt is a great basketball mind, extremely good at working with big men and his experience as a head coach in this league is going to prove very helpful to our staff. Johnny is a two-time NBA head coach with years of experience playing as well as coaching in this league. The vast array of NBA knowledge he brings to the table will be invaluable to us.”
D’Antoni had also hired Larry Lewis and Mark Madsen to serve as his two player development coaches. Lewis spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the D-Fenders, the Lakers’ Development League affiliate. Madsen was named the D-Fenders’ head-coach in May. D’Antoni’s brother, Dan, remains the lone member of his original coaching staff last season.
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