After a disappointing 17-33 tenure that resulted in not even qualifying for postseason play following the 2014-15 Developmental League regular season, the Los Angeles D-Fenders decided to go in a different direction from veteran coach Phil Hubbard.
Team President/CEO Joey Buss and General Manager Nick Mazzella announced the decision to hire Casey Owens as their head coach for the 2015-16 season. Owens has 16 years of experience in professional basketball at various levels as a coach, video coordinator and scout, and even has prior experience with the team:
OFFICIAL: The D-Fenders have named Casey Owens as head coach. pic.twitter.com/FgAaSbN86T
— L.A. D-Fenders (@DFenders) August 4, 2015
Owens’ career has included stops as a head coach in the Venezuelan Professional League (Guaiqueries), director of player personnel for the Dakota Wizards of the CBA as well as stints with the Chicago Bulls (video coordinator) and Portland Trail Blazers (scout). He also found success as the scout and player development coach and was instrumental in leading to Kenyon Martin and Patty Mills playing for the Chinese Basketball Association’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers.
More teams are utilizing the D-League to get extra minutes and experience for young players, so Anthony Brown and Larry Nance Jr. could be prospects that could be headed to the D-Fenders this upcoming season.