Kurt Rambis As A Head Coach For The Timberwolves: How Does He Howl?

Timber WolfAnalyst IIAugust 6, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27:  (L-R) Assistant coach Kurt Rambis, head coach Phil Jackson and assistant coach Frank Hamblen of the Los Angeles Lakers look on from their bench against the Utah Jazz in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Jazz 107-96 to win the series 4-1. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It's traditional in some of my articles to not try to ramble on in them, so I'm going to keep it short and sweet. I won't go into statistics or specifics, I will just go into strong opinions and short facts that support my theories.

The Los Angeles Assistant coach Kurt Rambis has been rumored to be the front runner for the Timberwolves head coaching job.

Kurt Rambis has been a head coach one time in his career. In the 1999 "lockout" season, he achieved moderate success with 24-13 record.

Rambis has been an assistant coach for 10 years with the Lakers, often filling in for Phil Jackson for medical reasons. But one can question, How good of a coach is he?

"Yeah he's been an assistant for 10 years."

"Yeah he was an NBA veteran."

"Yeah he played with Kareem and Magic."

Although those points are great, one could actually question as to how good of a head coach will he be for the Timberwolves.

I may be wrong, but anyone can coach the Lakers.

Why? Kobe Bryant.

Who needs a coach when you arguably have a player that's in the top 10 players of all time?

Not to knock on Phil Jackson or Kurt Rambis, but it's the truth. It's a very different situation coming from NBA veterans, to a young NBA team.

The difference between a young NBA team and a veteran team, is that a young NBA team tries to build what's called "a nucleus". Meaning that the main statistics will come from three to five players.

An example of good young teams would be the 76ers and the Trailblazers.

An example of good veteran teams would be the Spurs, Celtics, and Lakers.

What makes the Lakers and the Celtics great, is that they have NBA experience, and don't have a "real nucleus". I mean as in, their bench players that average four points a game, could come over to a team like the Clippers or Sacramento, and average 12-15 points (similar to what Trevor Ariza will do for Houston next season).

There's a real difference in these types of teams, and although I've never been a fan of a young coach coaching a young team, which makes Rambis better in my eyes, can Kurt Rambis actually coach a young team?

He doesn't have a Shaq or a Kobe. He doesn't have Derek Fisher or Lamar Odom. He's going to have to work with three rookies in Ellington, Flynn, and Rubio. He's going to have to work with two veterans in Jefferson and Gomes, and upcoming young players in Love and Brewer.

But despite the fact that Jefferson will be entering his sixth year as a player, he's only 25 years old, and yet is one of the oldest players on the team.

Again, I'm not knocking Kurt Rambis on his coaching skills. It's widely known that he's responsible for causing the Magic to average 90 points in the championship series.

It's not guarenteed that Rubio will be a Wolf next season, who arguably would be the closest thing to being a player coach on the Wolves right now.

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the idea of Kurt Rambis as a head coach. He has the experience and wisdom and the defensive mindset, but again he will be working with a young team.

When you have young players, you cannot take them out the game because they took a bad shot. This ultimately is because of a lack of wisdom, and would hurt the development of the player.

When you have Kobe Bryant, you can't take him out the game because of a bad shot, because Kobe makes everything he throws up.

All I'm saying is that despite Kurt Rambis' resume, can he coach the Timberwolves?

My answer is yes. But it's going to take some real player development, something that former coach Kevin McHale was great at.

Kurt Rambis I feel will get along with Corey Brewer and Ryan Gomes very well. They are both good defense players, and most likely, Kurt Rambis will put them in good defensive schemes to maximize their defensive potential.

But then again, he does have Kevin Love who has a basketball I.Q of a point guard with a PF mindset. And Al Jefferson does need help defensively. He was always known as a defensive player as a Laker. Rubio can be a havoc to other point guards, and Ryan Hollins is a stud in the post.

I do think that Kurt Rambis can be as good as Kevin McHale was as a coach as far as player development and I know as a defense coach, he will be better than McHale. He actually has set plays which McHale didn't.

He has a championship mindset, and although you may laugh and chuckle at the thought, but the Timberwolves could be competing for a championship some time in the future.

I feel that if the Wolves do get into the playoff's, Kurt Rambis will not disappoint, due to the fact that he's been there so many times before.

So if David Kahn wants to hire Kurt Rambis as the next head coach, I'm all for it. I just don't know how a David Kahn's Run-N-Gun vision can mix with Rambis' all defensive mindset.

Only time will tell.

Thanks for reading!


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