Preferring a small staff to the one he inherited from previous coach Mike Brown, current Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni will not retain assistants Chuck Person and Bernie Bickerstaff for the 2013-14 season.
Fellow 2012-13 assistant Eddie Jordan recently accepted the head coaching job at Rutgers University, leaving three assistants on D’Antoni’s staff: Steve Clifford, Darvin Ham and Mike’s brother Dan D’Antoni.
The 2013-14 coaching roster is not finalized, however, meaning D’Antoni could make further changes or additions over the summer. With that said, D’Antoni does not want a staff to match the size of Brown’s, which featured five full-time assistants and coaching assistant Kyle Triggs, who is joining Jordan at Rutgers.
Player development coach Phil Handy will remain on the staff.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was supportive of D’Antoni in comments made during his exit interview last week, appreciating what he did in a season stained by constant injuries.
“To Mike’s credit, he made adjustments,” said Kupchak. “Once we started getting players back and once he started to see what our real strengths were, he was flexible and made adjustments, and that’s when we started to win games and gather momentum.”
The Lakers finished the season on a five-game winning streak, amassing a 28-12 record after falling to a season-low 17-25 record with a January loss at Memphis.
Several players mentioned that having an offseason to really put in the offense and defense, in addition to establishing a bigger-picture identity with his staff, can really benefit D’Antoni and by nature the team.