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Kings hire Mike Longabardi as assistant

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Longabardi most recently spent time as a member of Scott Brooks’ staff on the Wizards

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers

The Sacramento Kings are hiring longtime NBA assistant Mike Longabardi to join Luke Walton’s coaching staff, as first reported Monday by Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Longabardi most recently spent time as an assistant coach from 2019 to 2021 with the Washington Wizards, under then-head coach Scott Brooks. Previously, Longabardi has worked as an assistant with the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Longabardi has been a part of two championship teams as an assistant: with the Celtics in 2008 and the Cavaliers in 2016. Longabardi was the Cavaliers’ defensive coordinator under then-head coach Tyronn Lue.

For a Kings team that was the worst defense in NBA history during the 2020-21 season, Longabardi’s defensive background can hopefully foster some improvement for the team on that end.

Longabardi is likely replacing the role of Rex Kalamian, the team’s former defensive coordinator who went to the Detroit Pistons this offseason.

Assistant Jesse Mermuys also left Walton’s staff this offseason, as he joined the coaching staff of new Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley.

Earlier this month, the Kings announced that former player and color commentator Doug Christie would also be taking an assistant role on Walton’s bench. Christie likely replaces the presence of Bobby Jackson, who went from an assistant on Walton’s bench to head coach of the Kings G-League affiliate, the Stockton Kings.

It remains to be seen whether Walton’s coaching staff is set in stone or if there will be more moving parts before the start of the regular season.