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Lakers part ways with assistant coach Lionel Hollins, move Mike Penberthy to front of bench

Lionel Hollins will not return to the Lakers for a third season as Frank Vogel’s coaching staff continues to turn over. Mike Penberthy will be promoted to replace him.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are continuing to overhaul the organization’s coaching brain trust. After seeing bench assistant Jason Kidd depart for the Dallas Mavericks and take advance scout Greg St. Jean with him, the organization chose not to renew the contract of South Bay Lakers head coach Coby Karl. Now, according to multiple reports, the team will also not retain Kidd’s fellow bench assistant, Lionel Hollins:

Hollins was with the Lakers for two seasons, including the 2020 championship that came in his first year working under head coach Frank Vogel. He worked remotely during the NBA bubble after being red-flagged as a health risk due to his age, but was on the bench for the team during the 2020-21 season.

The writing has been on the wall that Hollins would probably be gone for a few weeks, however. He interviewed for an assistant coaching role with the Portland Trail Blazers, which would have been at best a lateral move, something an assistant doesn’t do if they feel secure in their position in an organization. Scott Brooks — who it now seems was also considered for Hollins’ spot with the Lakers — was ultimately chosen over him.

And with Hollins gone, the Lakers had another open spot for one of their three bench assistants. David Fizdale already took Kidd’s spot, the well-regarded Phil Handy is still around, and according to NBA insider Marc Stein, it sure sounds like shooting coach Mike Penberthy will be promoted to replace Hollins:

According to multiple reports, the Lakers promoted Penberthy after Kidd attempted to get him to join his staff in Dallas.

It remains to be seen if the Lakers will add a shooting coach to replace Penberthy, or if he will continue to work in both capacities. Penberthy previously was a private shooting coach before working with Anthony Davis as an assistant coach with the New Orleans Pelicans and joining the Lakers in the same capacity when Davis was traded in the summer of 2019.

Given that Vogel has all of his bench assistants do a bit of everything rather than designating coordinators, this will be an opportunity for Penberthy to advance his career and develop more broad coaching skills.

This story may be updated with more information.

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