Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach and assistant Frank Hamblen passed away today at the age of 70. Hamblen was a long-time member of the Lakers coaching staff working under both Phil Jackson and Rudy Tomjanovic.
Hamblen came over to the Lakers in 1999 along with Jackson after spending the previous three seasons with the Chicago Bulls. He became the lead assistant under Tomjanovic in 2005 before taking over as head coach when Tomjanovic resigned.
The Lakers released a statement on Hamblen’s passing and current Lakers head coach Luke Walton, who played under Hamblen for eight seasons, spoke about his impact:
“Frank Hamblen was a great coach and a good friend,” said Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton. “He was not only beloved by everyone in the Lakers organization but by those in the NBA community as well. Frank coached me as a rookie and in addition to all I learned from him on the court, he also emphasized how important it was to enjoy life off the court as well. My thoughts and prayers go out to Frank’s family.”
Overall, Hamblen was a part of five championship teams with the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as two others during his time with the Chicago Bulls giving him seven total.
Hamblen had a 42-year coaching career in both the NBA and ABA, serving as assistants for such teams as the Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings, and Houston Rockets.
The staff at Lakers Nation issues its condolences to the friends and family of Frank Hamblen.