Mike D’Antoni Was The Driving Force Behind Kurt Rambis Hiring
The Los Angeles Lakers announced the hiring of former Laker, four-time champion and former head and assistant coach, Kurt Rambis, to Mike D’Antoni’s coaching staff on Monday. In an exclusive interview with Lakers Nation, Rambis surprisingly revealed that his hiring can be attributed to D’Antoni’s pursuit.
Rambis told this website that he was shocked when the current Lakers head coach asked him if he would be interested in joining his staff.
“Quite frankly, I was a little bit shocked about that, and for [D'Antoni], he said it was a no-brainer, and I jumped on it right away. I said, ‘This would be great, I think it would work out well for both of us.’”
Rambis continued by saying that, after their initial meeting, D’Antoni was convinced that after running it by Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, it would be a “done deal.” Prior to meeting over lunch, Rambis couldn’t have imagined that D’Antoni would be asking him to join his coaching staff.
“We rekindled our friendship. We’ve known each other for several years going back in coaching circles. It was kind of an interesting conversation, I just had no idea that that’s the direction it was going to go.”
This past year, Rambis acted as an analyst for both Time Warner Cable and ESPN. Upon Mike D’Antoni’s hiring, Rambis went public to USA Today about being “stunned” that Phil Jackson didn’t get the job. Today, Kurt told this website that he still communicates with Phil on a regular basis, as he does with other coaches. As far as the criticisms he’s dished out over the past year, he clarified that they have been more directed at what the “players are doing out on the floor,” rather than Mike D’Antoni himself.
Kurt Rambis joins a coaching staff of returning assistant Dan D’Antoni, just announced Johnny Davis, and recently hired Mark Madsen and Larry Lewis.
Have you seen Part II of our exclusive interview? If not, check it out below and don’t forget to click here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!