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Kurt Rambis, According to a Lakers Fan

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As I often do in matters of the Lakers, I tabbed my good friend Kurt from Forum Blue & Gold to espouse on Kurt Rambis, The Coach. Kurt's words follow.

Rambis did a pretty good job in his short stint as Lakers coach in the strike-shortened 1998-99 season. He won 65% of his regular season games with a team that had Kobe and Shaq, then won the first-round playoff series before being swept by San Antonio in the second round. He followed in a long line of guys (Del Harris among them) that just couldn't get that team (with Glen Rice, Rick Fox, Derek Harper, Eddie Jones and others) to play any defense. They were second in the NBA in offensive efficiency that year, 24th in defense. (Damn, suddenly that sounds familiar....)

Phil Jackson came in the next year and Rambis, always the good company man, was bumped up to the front office. Eventually Phil brought him back to the bench and in recent years Rambis has been the #2 guy -- running the Summer League team, running practices when Phil is at the dentist, talking to the media a lot.

He seems capable -- what he lacked that first go-round was the ability to really reach his superstars. Now he's sat at Phil Jackson's feet for a number of seasons, you have to think he learned some lessons about relating to players. He came out of a 1980s Lakers team that was the epitome of teamwork, sometimes I think its hard for former players from those kinds of teams to recreate that feeling as a coach. He struggled the first time, but may have a better and more mature understanding of that now.

By the way, I have no idea if he'd bring the triangle with him. Brad Miller could thrive in that system, your boy Martin in the attacking MJ/Kobe role could be very interesting, but Bibby would hate it. HATE IT. Ask Gary Payton.

Honestly, the triangle hadn't crossed my mind once in all this Rambis/Brian Shaw talk. Rambis has been around the system for several years now, surely talking shop with Lakers consultant/triangle inventor Tex Winter. I imagine Geoff Petrie is asking what kinds of offensive systems the prospective coaches would like to bring to Sacramento, and I'm really damn curious now to see how in love with the triangle Rambis is. Miller would be much more well-served in that system than he was in Musselman's quizzical 'dribble-around-the-perimeter-and-shoot-at-some-point' playset.

Kurt also penned a thoughtful retrospective on Rambis The Player a couple summers ago. We only got Rambo in a Kings jersey for a cup of coffee. It's well worth reading what he meant to Showtime on the court.