Despite the lockout that was recently put into place, the Lakers certainly have not rested on their laurels, as today, the team formally announced the hiring of assistant coaches Chuck Person and Quin Snyder. While certainly not an unexpected move, as ESPN LA's Dave McMenamin and Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus have kept us well abreast of the Lakers' efforts to fill the staff of Mike Brown, it always is nice to receive official confirmation of such things. Person in particular had interviewed with newly hired Houston head coach Kevin McHale, and while most reports leaned towards him returning to the team, this puts to rest those concerns. After the jump, I'll briefly cover each coach's respective histories and what they can bring to the team.
Person in particular appears to be an important figure, as he will be the sole bridge between the Phil Jackson and Mike Brown eras, seeing as he was hired as an assistant in 2010. In addition, Person designed the Lakers' defensive scheme last year, notably the decision to place Andrew Bynum in the lane on pick-and-rolls to deter the threat of penetration, which worked beautifully during the Lakers' 17-1 streak after the All-Star break but sputtered during the last stages of the season and the playoffs as the team's overall execution withered away. As Brown will undoubtedly incorporate much of his own defensive philosophies on the court, having the architect of the previous defense present to ease the transition will be valuable. Person and Brown previously worked together as part of Rick Carlisle's staff in Indiana from 2003-2005.
As for Snyder, it appears that he will adopt a behind the bench role, similar to his previous gig as a player development coach with the Sixers. His resume is certainly not lacking, as he started his career as an assistant with the Clippers in 1994 before joining the staff of his alma mater at Duke in 1995, and was widely credited for Duke's success from 1997-99 after he become Mike Krzyzewski's top assistant. He is likely best known for his success as the head coach of Missouri from 1999-2006, including several surprisingly deep runs into the tournament. After leaving Missouri, he became the head coach of the Austin Toros, the Spurs' D-League affiliate, and was fairly successful during his time there as well. Given the extent to which the Spurs maximize the utility of their D-League resources and the similar systems that are run there from the parent club, he should be able to come in and mesh nicely with Brown's San Antonio-based philosophies from the get go.
Finally, in his report on the hiring of Person and Snyder, ESPN LA's Dave McMenamin notes that the hiring of famed Italian coach Ettore Messina and former University of Utah coach Jim Boylen will also be announced sometime in the near future. I previously wrote about Messina a few weeks ago on how his offensive philosophies could help the Lakers as he assumes a Tex Winter-esque role behind the bench, and Boylen has had a long career as an assistant on both the NCAA and NBA levels, including a good run as the head coach of Utah. With the lockout delivering nothing but grim news at the moment, we will be certain to keep you updated as Brown continues one of the few activities still available to him in filling his staff.