The Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff may have their next assistant lined up. After hiring Mark Madsen, the Lakers have discussed adding Kurt Rambis to Mike D'Antoni's coaching staff, according to Adrian Wojnarwoski of Yahoo! Sports.
Rambis has not coached since his two-year stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In that stretch Minnesota went 32-132. He currently serves as an in-studio analyst for Time Warner Cable Sportsnet.
Prior to his time with the Timberwolves, Rambis was an assistant coach under Phil Jackson and was a key part of the coaching staff during the three-peat era and helped the Lakers reach back-to-back NBA Finals in 2008 and 2009. He was not part of the staff during the Lakers' 2010 championship run.
Rambis was appointed as the lead defensive coach by Jackson after their 2008 NBA Finals loss and instilled zone principles while also playing man-to-man. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times discussed the shift back in 2008:
"Kurt's been pestering me for a year or so about doing some things defensively that I was reluctant to do," Jackson said. "I come from the old school where you play man [defense], and you have that man and that's your primary goal."
The Lakers now use a lot of zone principles and try to keep the ball on one side of the court.
They put pressure on the ballhandler to try to force him to a particular side and then often overload the area by sending an extra defender to stand down near the post, essentially shifting the defense from man-to-man to zone.
Rambis could be a solid hire with deep roots with the organization already in place with a clear need for a renewed focus on the defensive end of the court . After watching Nate McMillan and Alvin Gentry accept positions elsewhere, D'Antoni's coaching staff looks like it's beginning to take shape.
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