Kurt Rambis has a successful history with the Lakers, and he’s coming back to what sounds like a ceremonial job in the organization.
Kurt Rambis was part of the “Showtime Lakers” for four NBA titles in the 1980s, and he spent many more years with the organization in the front office and as an assistant coach after his playing days were done. Now, as the team embarks on a new era led by LeBron James, Rambis is coming back to the Lakers as a senior basketball advisor to team president (and former teammate) Magic Johnson.
“As a member of the Showtime Lakers, Kurt is a champion and knows how to win. “He has been an integral part of the Lakers organization winning four NBA championships as a player and an additional four as a part of the staff. His insights and wide range of experiences will be a huge benefit to our operations.”
In his duties, Rambis will report to Johnson and support the basketball operations and coaching staffs in their day-to-day functions.
Being associated with the Lakers’ success in such a unique fashion would seem to make Rambis a credible basketball mind. But he was an abject failure in two seasons as Minnesota Timberwolves head coach (32-132), and he hung on through the last four seasons as associate head coach of the New York Knicks (including a stint as interim head coach in 2015-16) due mostly to his association with Phil Jackson.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton toed the company line regarding Rambis’ hiring.
“I’m happy to welcome Kurt back to the organization. Kurt’s vast NBA experience and knowledge of the game will be a great asset to the team and I look forward to working with him again.”
Since he isn’t being forced onto the coaching staff by Johnson, Rambis is no threat to Walton’s job. But any dynamic between Rambis and James could be interesting to observe, as much as James would care about someone with a ceremonial title.