The Los Angeles Lakers roster was overturned for the third offseason in a row, but this time the sidelines also experienced a shake-up.
Former lead assistant Jason Kidd left the Lakers in order to become the new head coach of the Dallas Mavericks while Lionel Hollins decided to leave after the two sides could not agree to terms on an extension. Additionally, valued veteran Jared Dudley retired from the NBA and joined Kidd on the bench in Dallas.
In order to fill the voids, Los Angeles decided to hire David Fizdale to become head coach Frank Vogel’s new lead assistant, while also promoting Mike Penberthy to a front-of-the-bench role. However, the Lakers reportedly made another hire as they are set to bring in John Lucas III in a player development coaching position.
Lucas is well respected around the league and according to Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports, his father John Lucas II, who has also coached in the NBA, believes it is a good fit for him:
Lakers hired John Lucas III as an assistant coach.
“I think it will be a very good fit,” his father, John Lucas II an assistant with the Houston Rockets tells @BallySports.
“He’s known LeBron since high school & been in locker rooms forever. I’m extremely proud of him.” pic.twitter.com/XoUu6Wsnuq
— 👑 Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson 📍 (@ScoopB) September 11, 2021
Lucas spent 12 seasons in the NBA playing for six different teams and shortly transitioned to coaching with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers already have Phil Handy on staff for player development, so it seems as though the two will work together in this area with Lucas perhaps filling the locker room presence Dudley left behind.
Former NBA players are typically able to relate to players and get through to them, and Vogel has stated before that he prefers to have people like Lucas on his coaching staff. However, unlike the Timberwolves, the Lakers are going to be right in the middle of the championship conversation and it will be interesting to see how involved he is throughout the season.
Jared Dudley only wanted to play for Lakers
Even though Lucas should effectively be able to replace Dudley, the latter was a fan favorite as well as a trusted voice in the locker room. The Lakers and Dudley had a great partnership and the forward reportedly only wanted to play for L.A. before he decided to retire.
With the Lakers not giving him an offer as either a coach or player, that made the decision for him to go to Dallas that much easier.
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