If there is anything to be learned from the San Antonio Spurs, it is that teamwork starts from the top, down. The Spurs coaching staff created a culture of winning, unselfishness, toughness, and consistency that is evident with every player on their roster.
Yes, their roster is talented. It’s not often that a team has three future Hall of Famers with a future All-Star in the pipeline.
With this in mind, would it be best to get an all-Laker coaching squad?
Byron Scott has plenty of coaching experience. He excels well with leadership from his point guards. His point guards dictate the play on the floor. He made it to the Finals with Jason Kidd at the helm. Chris Paul did very well on the New Orleans Hornets. While the Lakers do not have a point guard of that talent, it is possible that one can be drafted. Dante Exum and Marcus Smart may be the most likely candidates. Zach LaVine is the premier athlete of the group. Even Tyler Ennis demonstrates a poise and maturity on the floor, uncommon to freshman point guards at the NCAA level.
Kurt Rambis is the glue to keep this working. He’s worked with Phil Jackson. He’s worked with Mike D’Antoni. He had coaching experience with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He had coaching experience as a Laker coach. It would be easier for Laker players to empathize with him. He’s been through it all with them, throughout this long tenure. He is also a key strategist in scouting out opposing teams.
Michael Cooper, my favorite player of all time, can implement individual defensive skills. The Lakers lack defensive skills across the board. They do not force turnovers at a great level. They do not defend the paint that well. They do not force tough shots from the perimeter. They do not rebound well enough to complete a defensive possession. Michael Cooper’s fundamentals defensively can go a long way. He did a tremendous job while being constantly outmuscled defensively, and compensated with wingspan, speed, and hustle.
These men are a part of Laker history. They are also a part of the 1980′s Laker teams that won championships against Boston’s best. They helped dominate a decade of success, and all come from the same culture of success.
Perhaps the coaching decision is easy. Sometimes it doesn’t take a complicated offense, tremendous talent, or the best players. Sometimes, it takes the right mental approach, the right attitude, and the consistency to bring it every game, just like the 1980′s Lakers; just like the modern-day San Antonio Spurs. That’s a culture the Lakers can build upon.