Not only did the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster undergo a complete overhaul this offseason, but their coaching staff has seen some changes as well.
The Lakers lost two key assistants from last season with Jason Kidd accepting the head coaching job with the Dallas Mavericks and Lionel Hollins parting ways with the organization. Additionally, Jared Dudley, who was basically a player-coach on the bench, will be joining Kidd in Dallas as an assistant.
One replacement on the staff is David Fizdale, while Mike Penberthy was also promoted to the front of the bench for the first time. While the front of the bench is now full again for the Lakers, they still have one more opening on the staff overall which it appears they have now filled.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers are hiring former NBA point guard John Lucas III to their staff:
The Lakers hired John Lucas III to their coaching staff, sources told ESPN. Lucas carved out a respectable journeyman NBA run at PG in a career that included stints in the G League, Europe and China. He joins LAL after coaching with MIN. … And he has some history with LeBron. pic.twitter.com/BBi8EXjn22
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) September 11, 2021
As McMenamin alluded to, LeBron James had an incredible dunk on Lucas when the latter played for the Chicago Bulls, which should make for some funny jokes in the locker room this season.
According to Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group, Lucas’ role on the staff is expected to be on the player development side:
Lakers expect JLIII to help with player development and be a voice in the locker room. https://t.co/MiBvZr1Fd8
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) September 11, 2021
The Lakers already have arguably the best player development coach in the league in Phil Handy, and now the addition of Lucas should only help strengthen that department even more. Miles Simon also assisted with player development and while he is still with the organization, most of his time will be spent as the head coach of the G League affiliate South Bay Lakers.
Lucas’ playing career spanned from 2005-2017 after originally going undrafted out of Oklahoma State. In the NBA, he played a total of 242 games with six different teams.
Lucas’ coaching career
After retiring from playing in 2017, Lucas joined the Minnesota Timberwolves coaching staff with a focus on player development. He remained there as an assistant through 2019, also coaching their Summer League team in 2018.
Now with the Lakers, Lucas has a great opportunity to build on his coaching career with one of the top organizations in the league that will be in the mix to win a championship in 2021-22.
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