LOS ANGELES (AP) — Frank Hamblen, who won seven NBA championships as an assistant to Phil Jackson in Los Angeles and Chicago, died Saturday. He was 70.
The Lakers said Hamblen died in Del Mar. They did not provide a cause of death. The team had a moment of silence for him before their first preseason game Saturday in Anaheim.
Hamblen helped the Lakers win three straight titles from 2000-02, then back-to-back championships in 2009-10. He also was an assistant to Rudy Tomjanovich in between Jackson’s stints in Los Angeles and was briefly the head coach after Tomjanovich stepped down in February 2005.
Hamblen also spent three seasons as a Bulls assistant, helping them to their final two titles under Jackson in 1997 and ’98.
“Frank Hamblen was a great coach and a good friend,” Lakers coach Luke Walton, who was a rookie player in the organization when Hamblen coached. “He was not only beloved by everyone in the Lakers organization but by those in the NBA community as well.”
The Terre Haute, Indiana, native also was Milwaukee’s top assistant from 1987-96 and worked as assistant coach for the Kansas City/Sacramento Kings (1977-87), Denver Rockets (1972-1977) and San Diego/Houston Rockets (1969-72) during a 42-year coaching career in the NBA and ABA.