Not only did the Los Angeles Lakers revamp their roster this summer, but head coach Frank Vogel’s staff also experienced its fair share of changes.
The biggest loss was former lead assistant head coach Jason Kidd, who departed to become the Dallas Mavericks’ new head coach while Lionel Hollins left the organization after reportedly being frustrated with the communication over his contract status.
In order to fill the holes on the sidelines, the Lakers hired David Fizdale to replace Kidd while promoting Mike Penberthy to a front-of-bench role. Los Angeles also hired John Lucas III, who will work on player development as well as act as the connection between the players and staff.
The coaching shuffle was somewhat expected, though this amount of change to go along with all the free-agent decisions make for an interesting 2021-22 season. Although the major moves are out of the way, the Lakers have reportedly added to the coaching ranks as they have hired Shay Murphy as a coaching associate, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
The Lakers have added former WNBA player Shay Murphy as a coaching associate, sources told ESPN. The L.A.-area native attended USC and had a pro career that spanned more than a decade overseas and in the WNBA, where she won a title with Phoenix in 2014. pic.twitter.com/CSzkd7pw0F
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 3, 2021
Murphy adds to the theme of homecomings as she is a Los Angeles native who spent her college career playing for USC before making her way to the WNBA. Murphy played for several teams during her 10-year playing career, with her most notable stop being in 2014 with the Phoenix Mercury where she won a WNBA Championship. She also has a Euroleague Championship that she won in her rookie season with Ros Casares Valencia.
As far as Murphy’s title goes, coaching associates are not an official position but rather they are considered apprenticeship roles to help prepare the person for potential future coaching opportunities. As someone who looks like she is pursuing an advanced career in coaching, Murphy landed in an ideal situation as the Lakers look to chase another title with a star-studded roster and a solid head coach in Vogel.
John Lucas III’s father believes Lakers are good fit for his son
Murphy is not the only one who believes Los Angeles will suit her, as Lucas’s father believes the Purple and Gold are a good fit for his son because of his NBA playing experience and his relationship with LeBron James.
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