Lakers: Exclusive Interview with New Assistant Coach Casey Owens

Jun 21, 2016; El Segunda, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers new head coach Luke Walton talks to the media during a press conference at Toyota Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2016; El Segunda, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers new head coach Luke Walton talks to the media during a press conference at Toyota Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Promotion of LA D-Fenders Head Coach Casey Owens to Lakers Assistant Coach is a move in the right direction

The son of NBA coach George KarlCoby Karl, is supposedly rumored to be the next D-Fenders head coach as reported by Yahoo’s Shams Charania. However, what Charania neglected to mention was what happened to former head coach, Casey Owens.

As a result, this left media to speculate until two days later when the LA D-Fenders put out their tweet with the answer; Casey Owens was promoted to be a Lakers, assistant coach. Owens just finished a coaching stint with the Lakers Summer League team after coming off a storybook season in the D-League.

Owen’s D-Fenders earned the D-League’s Western Conference Championship title, coming into the competition ranked No. 4. The team pushed Sioux Falls Skyforce to the third of a three-game final series. It was certainly commendable to do, especially with an injury-ridden roster. It seemed a miracle they made it that far, and a lot of credit for that goes to their coach.

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Nearly every player we spoke to only had kind words for Owens who’s in the business of molding and mentoring future leaders. Owens success with the D-Fenders is one of the many reasons he’ll be a perfect fit for the Lakers moving forward.

The Lake Show Life was fortunate to get some time from this very busy new NBA coach to find out how it’s going and what he will be focusing on with the team. Here’s an in-depth look at why he’s the perfect candidate for the job and what fans have to look forward to next season.

LakeShowLife: How does it feel to be an NBA Coach so far, is there anything different?

Casey Owens: Yeah, I mean the excitement just you know really palpable, and I’m elated to get this opportunity, and I couldn’t be happier. With the whole staff the youth movement of the Lakers it’s just a  really good time to be with the organization and hopefully be a part of this thing as we get it turned around and headed in the direction that Lakers fans are accustomed too.

LSL: What are you going to take from your experience in the D-League and bring to the NBA? Is your brick coming with you? (Note: Last season the team carried a brick to remind themselves to make shots.)

Owens: (laughing) The brick is going to stay with the D-Fenders, and hopefully they are going to bring it to the new facility.  What I’m going to bring is not specifically from the D-Fenders, but I’m going to bring experience as kind of a career grinding coach and my work ethic and ability to communicate with players. I’ve been fortunate enough that most every single stop to have won and been successful.

LSL: Did your dealing with a lot of young guys on the D-Fenders, gives you a lot of experience for this job?

Owens: Yep and so I’m excited to work with them, and there’s a lot of familiarity already with the entire staff and roster having gone through training camp with them, and pre-season last year, and of course coaching Lakers that were still on assignment and being with them in summer league.

So I am familiar with a lot of the guys and hopefully will continue to build relationships and trust that goes between coaches and players. That’s a big part of whether a team’s going to succeed or not. I think it’s going to be fun!

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LSL: We know there are some assistant coaches, what will your focus be next season?

Owens: I’m going to be traveling ahead of the team four or five games at a time. Scouting our upcoming opponents. So I’ll go and get all their play calls and how many times they call it in game plans and diagram all their plays and prepare us for each opponent. So I’ll go out and watch and scout our upcoming opponents.

LSL: What are you looking forward to the most? 

Owens: Just the first regular season game, when it’s official that I am back in the NBA, and that’s always a good moment. When you’re at an NBA arena as opposed to a practice facility, I think that’s never lost on you.

Then of course always anytime your able to be in Madison Square Garden that’s a big thing for any basketball person to be able to coach in ‘The Garden.’ I don’t know if there’s a specific moment, just a general feel of accomplishment making it back to the NBA.

LSL: What do you want the D-Fenders fans to know, any message?

Owens: As far as the D-Fenders go, that’s always going to be very special to me. I think that as both as an assistant and a head coach, and particularly this last year, the journey that we took with that team, fighting through all the adversity that we did with ups and downs of a typical D-League season with call-ups, injuries, and buy-outs, and what have you.  And to make that magical run.

It was a championship team and a championship feeling, and it’s unfortunate we came up a game short. It’s a team I’ll always remember and one I am very proud of and will always appreciate the fans support and everyone’s support who followed the D-Fenders.

Next: Ramona Shelburne Talks Everything Lakers

As far as the Lakers go, in terms of the new coaching staff, fans should be really excited about the direction of the team. So make sure to tune int this season as we will definitely right the ship and watch our young players grow!