The Los Angeles Lakers have finalized their coaching staff, announcing the group in a press release on Wednesday morning.
The list included the names that had all been previously reported, but a few names we hadn’t heard yet have been added, too.
The Los Angeles Lakers have named Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins, Phil Handy, Miles Simon, Mike Penberthy and Quinton Crawford as assistant coaches on Head Coach Frank Vogel’s staff, it was announced today. Also named to Vogel’s staff are Greg St. Jean as player development coach/advance scout, Dru Anthrop as head video coordinator/player development coach, and Jon Pastorek, as assistant video coordinator/player development coach.
St. Jean is a brand new name that doesn’t have obvious ties to the current staff, while Anthrop worked for the Pacers while Vogel was there. Pastorek returns for a third season on staff, but hadn’t previously been confirmed as a returner.
Vogel, Hollins and Kidd have combined to go 749-753 as head coaches in the NBA (hence their availability). It remains unknown what specific roles they’ll play, but based on the jobs they’ve done elsewhere, the coaching staff does seem to have a glaring hole.
Vogel is known as more a defensive mind than offensive tactician. Same goes for Hollins. Kidd is known for being a hall of fame point guard and tremendous spiller of soda (who has also only really had any success as a defensive coach, albeit one who didn’t adapt all that well when his defense got figured out).
The Lakers still need someone to design an offense that maximizes LeBron James, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and the rest of the roster on that end of the court.
Theoretically, the Lakers might just hand the keys over to James as the team’s driving force on offense, but even there, what type of system do they run when he isn’t on the court, and what happens in the event he gets hurt again?
Maybe this is where Simon, Crawford, St. Jean or Anthrop step in to make a name for themselves, but you’d like to see something of a surer bet than a few guys who might be okay in such an important role for the organization.
The Lakers saw firsthand last year what happens when someone bungles the system even if it features James, and one would’ve hoped they might’ve learned their lesson after Jesse Mermuys was unable to strategize the team out of a poorly-locked room.
We’ll see how this turns out, and it will be good to have respected former head coaches or hall-of-fame players like James, Davis and Cousins respect and listen to, but not obviously addressing an offensive coordinator position that was such a critical weakness from last year feels like it could end up being a misstep for the team.