The Kings have made their second coaching hire of the offseason. Per a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, Luke Walton is bringing in Rex Kalamian as another assistant coach.
The Sacramento Kings are finalizing a deal to hire Rex Kalamian as an assistant coach, sources tell ESPN. Kalamian spent the past two seasons with the Clippers after lengthier recent stops with Toronto and Oklahoma City.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 5, 2020
Kalamian’s role wasn’t expressly delineated, but he will presumably be the defensive coordinator while Alvin Gentry directs the offense. Kalamian was the defensive head with the Clippers in each of the last two seasons. He also spent significant time with the Clippers’ young players, a trait that should serve him well with this Sacramento roster.
The new Kings assistant is well-traveled around the NBA. He has had two stints with the Clippers; brief stops in Denver, Minnesota, and Sacramento; and then longer stays in Oklahoma City and Toronto. The Clippers are retooling their coaching staff after firing Doc Rivers, so Kalamian was available for a new gig.
This is a strong hire for the Kings, as Kalamian has been part of several winning situations. His teams haven’t missed the playoffs since 2009, the last time he was in Sacramento. The new Kings front office is clearly emphasizing building out a strong coaching bench. That shouldn’t necessarily be seen as an indictment of Walton, just a desire to assemble as much talent as possible.
Bringing in Kalamian also reflects some growth on Walton’s end. One of the criticisms the Lakers had of him when he was in Los Angeles (and one that personally bothered me) was that Walton didn’t hire any experienced coaches to fill out his bench — he mostly chose a lot of his Arizona buddies.
Gentry and Kalamian represent a departure from that previous mindset. They are seasoned, well-respected coaches who should provide a new level of preparation to this coaching staff.