The Los Angeles Lakers have already lost their lead assistant coach as well as a player development coach, as Jason Kidd agreed to become the new head coach of the Mavericks with Greg St. Jean joining him in Dallas. It’s now being reported that another assistant coach from the 2019-20 championship squad will be leaving as The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Sam Amick report that Lionel Hollins and the team did not agree to new terms after his contract ended.
Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins is no longer with the franchise, sources tell me and @sam_amick. His contract ended and the sides did not agree to new terms.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) July 27, 2021
The news follows a report a few weeks ago that Lionel Hollins was interviewing to be the top assistant on Chauncey Billups’ Portland Trail Blazers staff (former Wizards head coach Scott Brooks was eventually hired to the role).
In a move that may be a direct result of Hollins’ departure, The New York Times’ Marc Stein is reporting that Lakers’ shooting coach Mike Penberthy will now be promoted to a “front-of-the-bench” role on Frank Vogel’s staff. Penberthy was hired by the Lakers at the same time as Hollins and Kidd as a part of Vogel’s initial staff that went on to win the 2020 NBA Finals.
The Lakers are expected to move Mike Penberthy to a front-of-the-bench role on Frank Vogel’s staff, league sources say.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 27, 2021
Right after Jason Kidd was announced to be the new Mavericks head coach, it was reported that the Lakers would be bringing David Fizdale onto their staff. It wasn’t fully announced that Fizdale would be taking the “top” assistant role that Kidd occupied, but it was to be assumed he would given his previous head coaching experience as well as his relationship with LeBron James (Fizdale was an assistant on the Miami Heat during LeBron’s time there).
The “front-of-the-bench” wording from Stein seems to indicate that Penberthy would, at the very least, take an elevated role above most of the other assistant coaches on the team. It should be noted that Penberthy does have a previous relationship with the Buss family and the Lakers as he played on the 2000-01 championship team with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. His previous coaching experience only includes an assistant coaching role with the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2018-19 season.
We’ll keep you updated on whether or not the Lakers decide to hire additional staff members given Hollins’ departure.