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Lakers make it official, hire Kurt Rambis as assistant coach

Jul 29, 2013, 2:02 PM EDT

Kurt Rambis AP

Kurt Rambis and Mike D’Antoni together? Sure, why not. It’s not like Rambis just spent last season as an ESPN analyst questioning D’Antoni’s use of the Lakers roster every chance he got. (Okay, that’s exactly what he did.)

I mean, what happened the last time D’Antoni was a coach somewhere and management demanded he bring in a defensive specialist assistant like Mike Woodson… oh, that’s right.

The Lakers have made the long rumored a reality — they have hired Kurt Rambis as an assistant coach, as well as Johnny Davis, the team announced. Rambis confirmed this.

“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,” Mike D’Antoni said in a released statement. “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.”

There have been reports that hiring Rambis was D’Antoni’s idea. He did likely sign off on it. But still, it makes you wonder.

Rambis was most recently on the bench as the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This is a nice hire, but it complicates the politics around the Lakers. Remember Rambis was the lead assistant for and has close ties to Phil Jackson, the guy Dwight Howard and a lot of Lakers fans wanted as coach when Mike Brown was let go.

While it’s safe to wonder if Jackson would actually return to the Lakers bench — or if Jim Buss would allow it — to bring in a Phil guy to be the right hand man of D’Antoni in a season the Lakers will be pretty average is… interesting.

  1. 00maltliquor - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    I like it!

    Hopefully he can use that big backhand of his to go from North to South on ‘Antoni when he gets unruly with his rotations and defensive focus in practice.

  2. dougmanoh - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    The Lakers have absolutely no idea what they’re doing. Pretty obvious. Big difference between the front office decisions of the Lakers and Clippers nowadays.

  3. asimonetti88 - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Rambis is a good assistant coach, not as good of a head coach. If it got to the point where he had to serve as an interim coach though, it likely means the season is lost anyway so good hire.

  4. 00maltliquor - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Also too, guess we can add Kevin Love to the list of game-changing players not coming to the Lakers.

    • limonadamas - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      Crap. You’re right.

      Who’s realistically going to come to the Lakers in the near future then? No Lebron (bad), no Melo (good), no Love (bad), no George (bad)… No draft picks except next year (but we might not be tanking)… This is bad. =T

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 29, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        You are wrong about Melo. Give him a strong supporting cast rather than a bunch of scrubs like he had in Denver and has in New Yawk and he will win you a championship.

      • limonadamas - Jul 29, 2013 at 5:52 PM

        I would respectfully disagree. Melo’s a great scorer, but basically a one-way player. He’s peaking right now too. Not a good investment moving forward for the $$$.

        Can’t blame the supporting cast all the time. After a while, you are what you are. Lebron took his CLE supporting cast to the Finals. Kobe took Smush/Kwame/Luke in the starting 5 to the playoffs and could’ve upset the top-seeded Suns that year.

  5. k3nn3k - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    This is what you call “retread”.

  6. JMClarkent - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    I wonder if this is a sign that the Di’Antoni is looking to conform a bit regarding his offense.

    • smoothaswilkes - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Huh? Conform a bit regarding his offense? You mean the coach that totally went away from his offensive principles last year? They barely ran any of D’Antoni’s sets towards the end of the season and playoffs. What were you watching?

      Rambis was hired for defense. The strong side zone principles that he orchestrated during the Lakers last two championship runs.

      • JMClarkent - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        The one thing that he did not get away from – live and die by the three. The Lakers I watched attempted the 3rd most 3’s, yet only hit at a clip that ranked 20th in the league. While he did adapt some of his principles, I feel as if he did a terrible job utilizing the majority of his roster/ shot clock.

        You and 00 make a good point regarding the defense; if Kurt can improve their defense it would be one heck of a hire.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      That would be cool, somewhat, but I’m really more concerned with the defense. God we were AWFUL last year in that department. I wanted to put the Desert Eagle in my mouth, pull the trigger and spit gum out the back of my head it was so bad.

  7. abchome - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:51 PM


    • 00maltliquor - Jul 29, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      Why would anyone thumb that down^?! C’mooon!!

  8. jonremi - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    The Lakers lost Superman and hired Clark Kent.

  9. jerdogthompson - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    It’s official, bring back the Lakers to the finals discussion. I like Rambo but the issues facing the Lakers is structural in nature and I highly doubt this move will yield little more than bringing back a little nostalgia for the old Laker fan base.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      He is a good defensive coach and hopefully will help improve the Lakers on that end. Not every transaction has to immediately put a team into contention to be considered a good move.

  10. nflcrimerankingscom - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    But where are the glasses???

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 29, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      Kevin McHale knocked them off and then Bill Lambeer stepped on them.

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