The NBA off-season has been an absolute circus for the Los Angeles Lakers with plenty of game-changing moves being made. With the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, the Lakers’ front office has pulled off yet another miracle and will be a perennial NBA title contender for years to come as a result.
Even though the wheeling and dealing on the trade market and free agency to improve the roster is most likely over and done with, there were still some holes to fill on the Lakers’ coaching staff after the departure of Ettore Messina and Quin Snyder to CSKA Moscow.
According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, the Lakers have hired Steve Clifford to be an assistant coach:
“Former Orlando Magic assistant coach Steve Clifford has agreed to join Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown on his coaching staff, CSNNW.com has learned.”
It appears that Howard will have another familiar face from Orlando along with Chris Duhon and Earl Clark with Clifford serving under Stan Van Gundy since 2007.
Before Clifford agreed to terms with the Lakers, the former Magic assistant coach was weighing his options with the Portland Trail Blazers being a distinct possibility. Apparently, passing on an opportunity to join Mike Brown’s staff wasn’t something that Clifford was willing to give up.
As a defensive-minded coach, it’s no wonder Brown and company decided to bring in Clifford. During his time with the Magic, Clifford helped Van Gundy’s staff led the team to four straight playoff appearances and a trip to the NBA Finals against the Lakers.
With the Lakers’ coaching staff considering the idea of implementing the Princeton offense next season, Eddie Jordan has also emerged as a candidate to join Brown’s staff before next season. Talks may be ongoing with the former Washington Wizards head coach as a deal has yet to be announced with Jordan officially coming to Los Angeles.