Yi Jianlian's contract may still be mystery, but the names on the Los Angeles Lakers' coaching staff are not any longer. The team confirmed the previously reported additions of Jud Buechler, Theo Robertson, and Casey Owens to Luke Walton's coaching staff on Friday. Additionally, the Lakers announced the hiring of Brian Keefe as an assistant coach and Will Scott as video coordinator.
Keefe spent the last two years working as a New York Knicks assistant coach, while spending the seven years before that with Oklahoma City Thunder. His time on both teams coinciding with rebuilds is an interesting note, because it means Keefe was at least part of the process of developing Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and several other players get to the level they've reached today. Lakers fans can only hope his arrival coincides with similar growth from their young core of D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance, Jr.
Will Scott's work as video coordinator will mostly be behind the scenes, but his time in a dual role with the Lakers and Los Angeles D-Fenders during the team's run to the D-League Finals showed his work ethic. Scott was always the first coach out on the floor working with players before D-Fenders games, and was someone they trusted to help them make last minute adjustments to their games:
If there is a position more thankless than being a D-League spot-up shooter that mainly helps create space for higher scoring teammates, it has to be "D-League assistant coach." That's also exactly where Ingram said much of the responsibility for his 17 points on 7-9 shooting belonged.
Ingram is mostly known as a three-point shooter (3-5 from behind the arc against Reno), but he also hit a few floaters on Thursday night. He said it was thanks to the idea of D-Fenders' video coordinator and special assistant Will Scott.
"[He] pulled me aside and said 'hey I noticed you getting these types of shots during the game, why don't we practice it more?'" said Ingram. With news Jabari Brown will miss the rest of the season, the D-Fenders would need more action going to the basket.
So Ingram and Scott spent significant time working on the shot during Los Angeles' shootaround and pregame, and it paid off when the sever-year veteran nailed a few of them in the first game of the postseason.
Both men join as promising of a coaching staff as the Lakers have assembled in several years, something that should help the team as their rebuild continues.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen