During his three seasons, one of the concerns with former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton was his coaching staff.
There was a belief there wasn’t much experience outside of lead assistant Brian Shaw and Walton had a tendency to hire his friends from Arizona. This time around, the Lakers are making sure that won’t be an issue with head coach Frank Vogel.
The Lakers made former Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd the NBA’s highest paid assistant coach and now the team is also adding former Memphis Grizzlies and Nets head coach Lionel Hollins who has had plenty of success in the league.
Another name is also being rumored as a potential addition to the coaching staff as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports that former New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek is someone to keep an eye on:
One name to keep in mind as another potential Lakers assistant: former Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, who was liked by Kurt Rambis and Phil Jackson in New York.
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) June 4, 2019
Hornacek didn’t have a great run with the Knicks but did have some success as head coach of the Phoenix Suns — most famously leading them to a 48-34 record during the 2013-14 NBA season when most had pegged them as the league’s worst team.
One thing that is clear is that the Lakers are committed to having an experienced staff around Vogel, something confirmed by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Los Angeles Lakers are hiring Lionel Hollins as an assistant coach, league sources told ESPN. The Lakers have made it a priority to add head coaching experience to new coach Frank Vogel’s staff, which now includes Hollins and Jason Kidd.
Time will tell whether Hornacek will also join the staff, but it is clear that this Lakers coaching staff will be one that will garner respect from the roster, regardless of who winds up on it when the team comes together to begin the 2019-20 season.
Vogel, Kidd, and Hollins not only have previous head coaching experience, but also all have real playoff experience in this league. Hornacek never made the playoffs with either the Suns or Knicks, but does have five years of experience and would be another welcomed addition to the staff.
Most of the attention on the team’s improvement this summer has been on the roster, but they seem to be putting just as much focus on making the coaching staff better as well.