Mike D'Antoni's coaching staff totally disbanded in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Lakers' disappointing 2012-13 campaign, but it looks like help from a familiar face—Kurt Rambis—could be on the way, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Kurt Rambis has emerged as a strong candidate to join Mike D'Antoni's coaching staff with the Lakers, league sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 29, 2013
Rambis played nine seasons for the Lakers, becoming something of a cult favorite during his time in Los Angeles. His trademark goggles and consistent hustle endeared him to a fanbase that probably wouldn't have shown the same affection to a less distinctive role player.
In his brief coaching career, Rambis wasn't quite as beloved.
He led the Minnesota Timberwolves to a combined 32 wins in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. It's hard to blame Rambis for the ugly results during that stint, as the Timberwolves were stuck in a dark period of poor management and botched drafts.
But it certainly didn't seem as though Rambis would be rejoining the coaching ranks anytime soon after such a poor showing.
Perhaps the Lakers are convinced that Rambis' 24-13 record in an abbreviated stint as the team's head coach during the1998-99 season is a better indicator of his true abilities.
Of course, pure desperation could also be playing a part here.
After losing Steve Clifford, Darvin Ham, Phil Handy, Chuck Person and Bernie Bickerstaff, the Lakers needed to start somewhere. And marquee names seemed to be less than enthusiastic about joining the mess in L.A.
Per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, Alvin Gentry opted to take a job with the Los Angeles Clippers, and Nate McMillan seems more interested in a gig with the Indiana Pacers, according to The Indianapolis Star’s Bob Kravitz. Rambis isn't exactly a hot commodity, but the Lakers probably can't afford to be picky at a time like this.
Mark Madsen, another former Laker, has already been named to the coaching staff, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. If Rambis joins up, that'll make a pair of former frontcourt players who might be viewed as assets in the team's attempt to woo Dwight Howard.
Rambis also worked w/ LA's big men before he moved on to Minnesota. He could replace Person in that role on this staff.— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) June 29, 2013
Why Howard would be interested in what a couple of bench-warming former Lakers would have to say is beyond me, but at this point, everything the Lakers are doing has some relationship to their pursuit of Howard.
Finally, it's worth noting that Rambis is a believer in the triangle offense. D'Antoni's not a fan of that style, but a certain unofficial consultant with the organization certainly is. Maybe this is the first step in setting up an appealing environment for Phil Jackson to return.
Then again, it's also possible that L.A. simply doesn't have any better options.