The Los Angeles Lakers have done an excellent job in recent years of using their G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, to help develop their young talent. Coby Karl has played a major role in this development, serving as the team’s head coach over the last five years.
Recently the likes of Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker and Devontae Cacok have benefitted greatly from their time in the G-League under Karl, while former Lakers such as Ivica Zubac and Thomas Bryant also shined in South Bay before becoming excellent players in the NBA.
But now Karl’s time with South Bay has come to an end as he will not return as head coach next season. The team took to social media to thank him for his time:
— South Bay Lakers (@SouthBayLakers) July 19, 2021
The South Bay Lakers have struggled in the last two seasons that were played, finishing 19-25 in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to the pandemic, and 21-29 in 2019. Prior to that, however, Karl led South Bay to the conference finals of the G-League.
With the 2021-22 season set to return under normal circumstances after this past season was played in a bubble that the Lakers opted out of, South Bay will now need to find a new headman to lead their developmental franchise. The Lakers have been on one accord from the top-down and the new head coach of South Bay will surely need to have the same outlook.
For Karl, this brings an end to his time with the franchise that stretches back to his playing days. Karl made the Lakers’ roster as an undrafted free agent in 2007, appearing in 17 contests and even briefly seeing the floor in the playoffs. That night Karl made history as he and his father George, then coach of the Denver Nuggets, became the first father-son duo to oppose each other in a playoff game.
McBride wants to show Lakers he’s the ‘ultimate competitor’
As a team with championship aspirations, the Lakers’ pick in the 2021 NBA Draft could certainly find himself spending some time in South Bay to get some on-court development time. One potential selection who recently worked out for the team is West Virginia guard Miles McBride, who discussed what he wanted to show the Lakers.
“The main thing I say I’m trying to show is I’m the ultimate competitor,” McBride said after his workout with the Lakers. “I feel like I’m definitely one of the best competitors in the draft if not the best so shots are gonna fall, shots are gonna miss, so the biggest thing is just to show I’m a competitor.”
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