It’s been just two days since Kurt Rambis was hired as a Lakers assistant coach, but he’s already being called upon to voice his views on the team and the situation he’s signed up for.
Rambis was a guest on Wednesday’s edition of the Dan Patrick Show, discussing his new role with the team, among other topics.
One of the more interesting nuggets from Rambis’ segment came when he discussed Kobe Bryant and whether he’s talked to the injured guard, who played under him during the early years of his career. (Rambis served as a Lakers assistant from 1994-99, 2001-04 and 2005-09 and as the team’s head coach in 1999.)
Rambis said that he and Bryant haven’t spoken, and within the organization, no one is ready to make a statement about Bryant’s status just yet. The message he’s heard is that the team is waiting until the end of August to reassess Bryant’s progress.
“They feel like they will have a clearer picture of what his timetable will be at the end of August,” Rambis said to substitute host Chris Mannix. “They’re just not prepared – nobody is, doctor-wise or organization-wise – to make any sort of statement until that time comes up.”
Rambis, a vocal critic of the Lakers during their struggles last season, said on the show that coach Mike D’Antoni would like him to focus on the team’s defense next season. When asked if this will be a rebuilding year for the Lakers, Rambis hemmed and hawed, lauding the team’s moves to bring in “pieces” this summer without giving a conclusive answer.
“I think there’s a lot of versatility with the team,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a complete crash and burn that some teams to do restructure and reorganize themselves.”