Ranking 5 worst coaching hires in Los Angeles Lakers history

Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Randy Pfund, Los Angeles Lakers
Randy Pfund, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

3. Randy Pfund (1992-1994)

As a 34-year-old in 1985, Randy Pfund joined Pat Riley’s coaching staff in the midst of the Lakers Showtime dynasty, and before he had been there three years he already had two NBA championship rings.

When Mike Dunleavy took over for Riley in 1990, Pfund stayed on and was there when they allowed Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls to win their first-ever NBA title in 1991. Dunleavy left after losing in the first round the following season, and the Lakers turned to someone familiar in Pfund to run the show.

As many can attest, just because someone or something is familiar, doesn’t mean they are the right thing for you, and that was painfully true for the Lakers-Pfund marriage. In 1993-94 the Lakers had some young talent with Nick Van Exel and Vlade Divac and still had James Worthy there to teach the young guns how to win.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for Pfund, whose Lakers fumbled their way to just 33 wins, their worst mark since 1975, and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1976. Despite rocking slicked-back hair that was reminiscent of the great Pat Riley, Pfund couldn’t inspire this young team like Riley did and was canned before the end of his second season after a 68-83 record as head coach.