EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Eddie Jordan, Steve Clifford and Bernie Bickerstaff as assistant coaches, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
Jordan, a former NBA player (1977-84) and member of the Lakers 1982 Championship team, most recently spent one season (2009-10) as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. Prior to his time in Philadelphia, Jordan, a native of Washington D.C. served as head coach of the Wizards. During his six years (2003- 2009) in Washington, Jordan posted a 197-224 record and in just his second season at the helm, guided the Wizards to their highest win total (45) in 25 years and the team’s first postseason appearance since 1996-97. Prior to joining the Wizards, Jordan served as the lead assistant coach for the New Jersey Nets. During his four-year stint with the Nets, the team made the Finals in back-to-back years (2002 and 2003). Additionally, Jordan spent seven years with the Sacramento Kings both as an assistant coach (1992-97) and head coach (1997-98).
Clifford joins the Lakers after spending the last five seasons as an assistant coach in Orlando. While with the Magic, Clifford helped guide the team to a 259-135 (.657) record, as well as five post season appearances. Prior to his stint in Orlando, Clifford spent four seasons (2003-07) as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets, and three seasons (2000-03) with the New York Knicks.
The University of Maine at Farmington alum began his coaching career as an assistant at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire. After four years at St. Anselm’s, Clifford spent one season as an assistant coach at Fairfield University before joining the coaching staff at Boston University for four seasons. Clifford coached one year at Siena College before being named head coach at Adelphia University. During his four years at Adelphia, the team compiled an 86-36 record and made four NCAA Division II tournament appearances. Following his stint at Adelphia, Clifford served as an assistant coach for one season at East Carolina University before joining the NBA.
Bickerstaff, who brings over 39 years of coaching experience to the team, joins the Lakers after spending the last two seasons working as an assistant coach for the Portland Trailblazers. Prior to joining the Blazers, Bickerstaff worked with the Chicago Bulls as an assistant coach for two years (2008-10). He assumed the role in Chicago after spending four years with the Charlotte Bobcats. During his four years with the Bobcats, Bickerstaff spent one season as the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations (2007-08) and three years (2004-07) serving as Head Coach and General Manager. Prior to his stint with the Bobcats, Bickerstaff served as an NBA head coach for three different teams (Seattle, Denver, Washington). In addition, Bickerstaff was President and General Manager of the Denver Nuggets for seven seasons (1990-97). Bickerstaff began his NBA coaching career the Washington Bullets in 1973 as the league’s youngest assistant coach. Over the next twelve seasons he helped guide the Bullets to the 1978 NBA Championship, three NBA Finals appearances, 10 playoff berths and a franchise record 60 wins in 1974-75. In 1985 Bickerstaff received his first head coaching opportunity with Seattle. In five seasons (1985-90) with Seattle, he posted a 202-208 record and in 1987 was named Coach of the Year by Sporting News Magazine. As a head coach, Bickerstaff has posted a career record of 414–512 which ranks 33rd all-time among head coaches.
The new Lakers coaches will be replacing Ettore Messina and Quin Snyder, who left the team earlier this summer to join CSKA Moscow, and John Kuester, who has been reassigned to the position of Advanced NBA Scout and will be based on the East Coast.