Lakers Rumors: LA Reportedly Will Add Former Magic Coach to Its Staff
The Lakers took their first shot at making Howard feel comfortable enough to sign a long-term deal by reportedly hiring Steve Clifford, Howard’s former assistant coach with the Orlando Magic, according to Comcast Sports NorthWest.
While Clifford was considered one of the favorites to grab the assistant-coaching job with the Portland Trail Blazers, it was the allure of working for a championship-caliber organization like the Lakers and working with a familiar face like Howard that sealed this deal.
What It Means
The goal for the Los Angeles Lakers is to win an NBA championship this season, and a coach like Steve Clifford can help Howard get settled enough to make an immediate impact on and off the court.
L.A. wants to make sure it re-signs its new center, but there will be no better way to ensure he stays in purple and gold than by having him hoist an NBA title at season’s end. If the Lakers win a championship, Howard will have no choice but to sign long term with them.
With Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash approaching the end of their careers, the Lakers hope the presence of a familiar face like Clifford’s will help the transition go as smoothly, and as quickly, as possible.
Is Steve Clifford the right fit?
No person on the Lakers staff will know what kind of player Howard is or what kind of things on the court he can and can’t do better than Clifford. With that said, he will be current head coach Mike Brown’s biggest advantage in keeping Howard happy.
Clifford is a great Xs and Os coach, but it is the relationship and familiarity between the coach and Howard that made this a smart choice for the Lakers organization.
If Howard and the rest of his teammates in L.A. stay healthy, the coaching staff will help put them in a great position to win this season. If the team has playoff success this year, there is no way Howard walks away from Los Angeles.
Clifford will go a long way in ensuring the former Magic star signs long term with the Lakers; this is a great move for L.A.
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