One of the first things a new head coach must do after being hired is assemble his coaching staff and for a first-time head coach like Luke Walton, hiring the right staff is essential.
There had already been rumors about the Los Angeles Lakers potentially hiring former player and assistant coach Brian Shaw, as well as former Raptors assistant Jesse Mermuys, but nothing had been made official.
On Friday, the team officially announced the hiring of Shaw and Mermuys as well as the retention of assistant coach Mark Madsen:
The Los Angeles Lakers today announced the hiring of Associate Head Coach Brian Shaw and Assistant Coach Jesse Mermuys to Head Coach Luke Walton’s coaching staff. In addition, Mark Madsen has been retained as an Assistant Coach.
Shaw is a highly experienced coach, having spent nine years as an assistant for the Lakers and Indiana Pacers before becoming head coach of the Denver Nuggets. As the Associate Head Coach, he will be Walton’s right-hand man and will be perfect for Walton to lean on as a first-time head coach.
Mermuys, like Walton, is a graduate of the University of Arizona and has spent the last three years with the Toronto Raptors, most recently as the head coach of the Raptors’ D-League affiliate, Raptors 905. He is known for being great with player development, an important factor considering the promising youth on the Lakers’ roster.
Madsen has been one of the most promising coaches on the Lakers’ staff for the last couple of years including spending the last two years as a player development coach under Byron Scott.
The Lakers will still need to fill out the rest of the staff, but it is good for Walton to have his main guys in place this quickly.