Browns coach says players will be ‘a lot better’ next season
SAN JOSE, Calif.
— It was a momentous one for a few reasons, but it wasn’t just about the players’ success or their success in their careers.
The moment belonged to an executive coaching position for the Los Angeles Lakers, one that has been vacant since the departure of Phil Jackson and a few years ago was vacant because of an injury to longtime coach Mike Brown.
The Lakers hired Jerry West, a man with the reputation of being a top recruiter in the NBA, to coach the Lakers’ players and a majority of the team’s front office.
The move was praised by many as a major coup for Los Angeles.
West was a former Lakers assistant under Jackson who took over for Jackson in 2015 and was widely credited with turning around a team that was struggling to make the playoffs for a third straight season.
The move was seen as a way to give the Lakers a chance to rebuild and a chance for the franchise to regain the championship it won with Jackson in 2009.
West’s coaching background was not in coaching or coaching staffs, so it was not immediately clear how much control he would have over the Lakers.
But he was seen to have a great relationship with the Lakers, and some in the team saw the move as a sign of success.
The players were thrilled, with some even praising West.
He said he wanted to be an integral part of the Lakers and wanted to build a winner, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting.
He made a few changes, including removing Jackson from the Lakers coaching staff.
West has made some big changes to the Lakers roster since the departures of Jackson and Bryant.
He replaced Jackson with new general manager Mitch Kupchak, who brought in several veterans and assistants, including assistant coach Mike Conley.
West also added a young player in DeMarre Carroll, a center who was one of the players to emerge from the 2015-16 season with the team.
West said the new players would be a lot better next season, even if they had to play out the remainder of the season on injured reserve.
Carroll, 20, played just 12 games last season, with two coming in the playoffs.
He averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
The Lakers were 9-23 with him on the court and 3-13 without him.