In an unsurprising move, Darvin Ham’s first personnel decision as the Lakers’ new head coach is confirming the departures of most of Frank Vogel’s staff from last season. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, David Fizdale, Mike Penberthy and John Lucas III have all been informed that they will not be retained.
Reporting with @wojespn: New Lakers coach Darvin Ham has started to shape his coaching staff by informing assistants David Fizdale, Mike Penberthy and John Lucas III they will not be retained.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 7, 2022
Ham has been discussing assistant coaching roles with several possible candidates around the league, sources tell ESPN. That’s a process that’s expected to be ongoing for weeks. https://t.co/UPhZZI4zbJ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 7, 2022
However, it’s the name not mentioned that is sure to draw more interest. Phil Handy is a notable exclusion from that list as his future with the franchise is still uncertain.
Regarded as one of the top player development coaches in the league, Handy had campaigned publicly for a head coaching opportunity. However, neither the Lakers nor any other franchise interviewed him this summer, leaving him in an interesting position now moving forward.
It’s uncommon, but not unheard of, for members of a coaching staff to be retained by a new head coach. Although new head coaches typically choose to build their own staff from scratch, an assistant of Handy’s regard isn’t often left over from the previous staff.
As for the departing coaches, Fizdale is the most noteworthy of the group. Last season, he served as the interim head coach for the Lakers in December amid the team’s COVID outbreak. It was an underwhelming stretch, though, as the Lakers went 1-5 in the games coached by Fizdale.
Lucas III was hired by the Lakers prior to last season, while Penberthy was promoted from shooting coach to a front of bench role after the departure of Lionel Hollins last summer.