The Los Angeles Lakers have officially named Coby Karl as the new head coach of their D-League team, the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Karl replaces former D-Fenders head coach Casey Owens, who was called up to the Lakers to serve as an assistant coach and advance scout after leading Los Angeles to the D-League Finals in his first season as head coach.
Karl is the son of former NBA head coach George Karl, and spent 17 games with the D-Fenders when the Lakers assigned him there during the 2007-08 NBA season. Karl spent last season as an assistant coach with the Westchester Knicks (his first coaching experience), and will make a quick jump to the head of the bench with the D-Fenders.
“It is an honor to be back with the Lakers organization, the team that gave me my first job and allowed me to realize my dream of playing in the NBA,” Karl said in a team press release. “My goal going forward will be to foster an environment and culture that permits our players and staff to fulfill their dreams. Our pursuit will focus on excellence, both as individuals and as members of the Los Angeles D-Fenders organization.”
The D-League is becoming an increasingly important resource for young, rebuilding teams like the Lakers, and it will be interesting to see how similar of a playbook the D-Fenders and Lakers run as the Lakers send down and call up players to the minor league roster this season.
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