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.