With 14 players currently on the roster after a strong 2019 NBA free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers are shifting their focus back to head coach Frank Vogel’s coaching staff.
While the team’s insistence on choosing the coaching staff pushed former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue away and is still an unusual request, it has seemingly benefited the Lakers so far in Year 1 with Vogel.
Since hiring Vogel, the Lakers have hired two former head coaches in former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd and former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins.
As the Lakers have been focusing on their roster, they recently hired Charlotte Hornets head video coordinator and player development coach Quinton Crawford to reunite with Vogel, according to Brad Turner of Los Angeles Times:
Lakers to hire Quinton Crawford as assistant coach on Frank Vogel's staff, per source. Crawford worked as a head video coordinator/player development with Vogel in Orlando. Crawford spent last season in same role with Charlotte. He began career as assistant VC in Sacramento.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) July 19, 2019
And now, the Lakers reportedly have hired New Orleans Pelicans shooting coach Mike Penberthy for the same role with Vogel, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Lakers are hiring a former guard from the Kobe-Shaq days, Mike Penberthy, as a shooting coach, according to league sources. “Good to be back,” Penberthy told ESPN. Penberthy worked for the Pelicans last season in the same role.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 20, 2019
As most will remember, Penberthy played 53 games for the Lakers during the 2000-01 NBA season before being waived just three games into the 2001-02 season. In 56 games, he averaged 4.9 points on 39.6% shooting from three.
Although Penberthy is a one-time NBA champion, he unfortunately did not receive another opportunity in the league as he played overseas until the 2007-08 season. While it took six years, he transitioned to coaching.
In Penberthy’s first role, he was the Minnesota Timberwolves shooting coach for the 2014-15 season. And three years later, he joined the New Orleans Pelicans.
As the game of basketball has evolved, the Lakers have struggled mightily with three-point shooting. Along with signing some three-point shooters, hiring a shooting coach is just as important to the team’s championship goals.