According to several media outlets the Los Angeles Lakers are very close to hiring Kurt Rambis as an assistant coach. For those familiar with the Lakers in recent years you will know that Rambis was on the staff of the Lakers last 5 NBA titles, and serving as the lead assistant for the last two. Rambis provided the Lakers with many of their defensive playbooks and game plans throughout his years as assistant coach, and while the Lakers, during their last two title runs, were never the best defensive team in the league, they were very good and not as bad as they are now.
With the Lakers management heading in the direction of gathering young players, and hopefully landing either LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony in free-agency next season, this move should help immensely. Regardless of whether or not the Lakers sign one of the aforementioned players, an assistant coach hire will not sway either’s mind in any particular direction, Rambis is a solid assistant. He will be bringing with him some of the philosophy of Phil Jackson, and will be designing game plans more suitable for the current Lakers roster.
While Mike D’Antoni will be running his offense, and the new younger players will help with that, the offense needs to be tweaked just a bit to account for what the Lakers have. The Lakers are not the run-and-gun Suns, and never will be. Steve Nash is 39 years old and just can’t play like he used to, or at the pace he used to. But he can still be effective. Utilizing him alongside Kobe is something that the Lakers never really accomplished last season, and they hope to do so in this upcoming season.
D’Antoni has never really believed in throwing the ball down low and working from the inside out, well now with the Lakers signing of Chris Kaman they won’t have to worry about that. Kaman will not be a legit offensive option for the Lakers, heck he might not even start, nevertheless Kaman can be an effective option for the Lakers, mainly playing the role of big man cutting to the basket for easy baskets.
All in all the Rambis hire should be a huge plus for these struggling Lakers. Rambis can play the same role that Tom Thibodeau did for the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics, defensive specialist. Rambis may not be as good of a coach as Thibodeau, he certainly failed as a head coach, although he was never really given a fair chance. But he is very formidable and his presence can only help this Lakers squad who, surprisingly, shouldn’t be too bad after losing Dwight Howard in free-agency this past off-season.
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