According to reports by former Los Angeles Lakers broadcaster Joel Meyers, Kurt Rambis is the new assistant coach to Mike D’Antoni. Rambis will serve primarily as the defensive coach which is a definite concern in 2013 for the Lakers. Rambis previously held the assistant position under Phil Jackson during the championship years. Rambis comes back to Los Angeles after spending time as the Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and ESPN analyst.
When Jackson was hired as head coach, Rambis served as the Lakers’ assistant general manager. He later became an assistant coach under Jackson between 2001 and 2004, helping the Lakers reach the 2002 and the 2004 NBA finals. He was hired again as an assistant in 2005, along with former player Brian Shaw. They helped the Lakers to another pair of finals in 2008 and 2009.
During his playing days, Rambis was a favorite among the Lakers fans because of his status as an overachieving underdog and ultimate team-player. Known for his defensive and rebounding skills, Rambis also was an efficient clean-up man on offense. During his time in Los Angeles he developed the reputation of doing the “dirty work” that most players wouldn’t embrace. During his playing days legendary Lakers announcer Chick Hearn called him Superman, in reference to his alter ego Clark Kent.
Rambis brings a defensive mind-set to a team that lacks the proper teaching. D’Antoni has never been known to teach anything besides offense and thus crippling the Lakers in the process. Rambis’ passion for defense will hopefully rub the Lakers players the right way. The Lakers front office hopes Rambis can come in and work to get the Lakers’ nonexistent defense back on track. The loss of Metta World Peace will hurt, but bringing in Wesley Johnson, Jordan Farmar, and the return of Jordan Hill will help. Don’t forget, Rambis has head coach experience. Don’t be surprised if we see Rambis at the helm by season’s end.