We already knew that former Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis was a part of the front office contingent interviewing the team’s head coaching candidates, but it wasn’t clear how big of a role he was playing.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Rambis — officially a “senior basketball advisor” for the team — has been very involved in a search that looks all-but-set to culminate in the team hiring Tyronn Lue as their next head coach:
Kurt Rambis — a former Lakers player and coach whose wife, Linda, is a trusted confidant and adviser to team owner Jeanie Buss — has had a significant role in the hiring process, sources said.
So what does this mean? For the head coaching search, likely not much, since it appears that Lue will be named as the team’s next head coach any minute now. It’s unclear how big of a role Rambis played in that — given that Monty Williams, the Lakers’ other top option, chose the Phoenix Suns, likely not much of one — but he at least didn’t lead the team to a totally wrong option. You know, like Jason Kidd, who Rambis was part of interviewing.
Moving forward, however, this would seem to indicate that Rambis is a real power player within the Lakers organization, because if he has a “significant” role in a choice this, well, significant, it’s safe to say that he can also be expected to have some real power moving forward.
But while Rambis clearly has been elevated in some way, because he didn’t appear to have this much power under Magic Johnson, it’s unclear what exactly his role is. As mentioned above, he’s officially employed as a “senior basketball advisor,” but it’s not exactly known what he did or does, and the only two people to comment in the Lakers’ press release announcing that Rambis had been hired — Johnson and Luke Walton — are no longer employed by the Lakers.
When he was brought in, it was assumed that Rambis would serve as some sort of liaison between the front office and coaching staff, but it’s not totally known publicly if that’s the full scope of what he did, or what he did at all. It also is a big question mark what exactly he’s doing now beyond assisting with the now-concluded coaching search.
Hopefully the Lakers offer some kind of clarity on this — and the rest of their front office alignment for that matter — moving forward, but for now, all that is clear is that Rambis is here to stay, and seems to have done a nice job consolidating power for himself in the wake of Johnson’s unexpected departure. We’ll see how that works out for the team.