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Category: Assistant coach candidate profiles

Assistant coach candidate profile: Darvin Ham

This is the eighth post in a series looking at potential Lakers assistant coaches. Here we profile Darvin Ham, who, Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears tweeted, is expected to be named a Lakers assistant. Team spokesman John Black said last week that the Lakers interviewed him among other unnamed candidates, but that the team hasn't finalized anything.

Background: Through eight NBA seasons, Ham earned a solid reputation for throwing down thunderous dunks, as shown in the video above, detailed on a famous Sports Illustrated cover and demonstrated in the 1997 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. That included stints with Denver, Indiana, Washington, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Detroit, where he won a 2004 championship ring after the Pistons' 4-1 win over the Lakers. Ham averaged a nondescript 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds through 417 career games. After stints in Spain, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and the NBA's D-League, Ham became the Alburquerque Thunderbirds' assistant coach in October 2008. He took over as head coach in July 2010. 

Connections to Mike Brown's staff: John Kuester was an assistant at Detroit when Ham played for the Pistons from 2003 to 2005. Ham also played for Quin Snyder in 2008 with the D-League's Austin Toros. Meanwhile, Chuck Person matched up with Ham in the NBA for three seasons before his own retirement in 2000.

Style: The Saginaw News' Kyle Austin talked with Ham last year about his belief that defense largely dictates a progam's success. Ham also believes staffs shouldn't be tied to one system. As someone who became a role player for six different teams, Ham said he instilled in his D-League players at Albuquerque the necessity to be honest about their own skill set, find various ways to contribute and always to work hard. 


Assistant candidate coaching profiles of:

Chuck Person

John Kuester

Quin Snyder

Ettore Messina

— Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Assistant coach candidate profile: Quin Snyder

This is the seventh post in a series looking at potential Lakers assistant coaches. Here we profile Philadelphia 76ers player development coach Quin Snyder, who, The Times' Broderick Turner reported, met with Lakers Coach Mike Brown on Thursday, with much of the conversation centering on offense. ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin first reported that Snyder was one of the finalists to join Brown's coaching staff.

Background: Snyder just completed his first season in Philadelphia as the team's player development coach, but he's had plenty of other stops in various capacities. He served a seven-season stint as head coach at the University of Missouri (1999-2006) before coaching three seasons with the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. Snyder first stepped foot in the NBA as a Clippers assistant coach under Larry Brown (1992-93) before working as an assistant under Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski from 1993 to 1999.

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Assistant coach candidate profile: Jim Boylen


This is the sixth post in a series looking at potential Lakers assistant coaches. Here we profile former University of Utah Coach Jim Boylen, who, The Times' Broderick Turner reported, met with Lakers Coach Mike Brown about joining his coaching staff. ESPN the Magazine's Ric Bucher reports that Brown indeed plans to hire Boylen. 


Boylen coached for Utah before being fired in March. He also had assistant coaching stints with Michigan State (1987-92, 2007-11), the Houston Rockets (1992-2003), Golden State Warriors (2003-04) and Milwaukee Bucks (2004-05). Boylen also was reported to have been in the mix for the coaching vacancy for Penn State's men's basketball team. 

Connection to the Lakers: Boylen was an assistant coach at Michigan State for part of Shannon Brown's tenure there. 

Style: Boylen ran a so-called pro-style offense with Utah and Michigan State and worked with the team's post players. He's worked with Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming and helped Utes center Luke Nevill become more polished, suggesting Boylen will have valuable insight in further developing the Lakers' frontline in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. As indicated by some YouTube videos, Boylen has shown plenty of fiery emotion, a quality that Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson chalked up to the Utes' intensity as well as their unevenness during adverse moments. But all accounts said he was a class act, even when Utah let him go.  

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Jim Boylen, former Utah head coach, on Monday became the latest assistant-coach candidate to speak with new Lakers Coach Mike Brown. Credit: Douglas C. Pizac / US Presswire

Assistant coach candidate profile: Scott Roth


This is the fifth post in a series looking at potential Lakers assistant coaches. Here we profile Toronto Raptors assistant coach Scott Roth, who, ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin reported, is on Lakers Coach Mike Brown's list of finalists for his coaching staff.

Background: Roth's recent stint with the Toronto Raptors caps an extensive coaching career that has included assistant coaching gigs and coaching in international competition. The assistant coaching gigs include the Golden State Warriors (2009-10), Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies (2000-2002) and Dallas Mavericks (1996-2000). In between those gigs, Roth was an assistant coach for the Turkish national team that won a silver medal in the 2000 European Championships and gold in the 2001 FIBA World Championship.

Roth also has had head coaching experience with the Dominican Republic National team  in 2007 and 2008, winning a silver medal at the CBC Caribbean Championships in Puerto Rico, and with the Bakersfield Jam during the 2008-09 season, when he guided the team to its first postseason appearance with a 26-24 record. In addition, Roth spent four seasons as a scout and advisor for the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Lakers assistant coaching candidate profile: Tim Grgurich


This is the fourth post in a series looking at potential Lakers assistant coaches. We'll profile Tim Grgurich, who, The Times' Broderick Turner reported, Lakers Coach Mike Brown is "expected to try and pry" from his current assistant coaching gig with the Dallas Mavericks.

Background: Obviously, any hire wouldn't happen until after the NBA Finals between Dallas and Miami, possibly as early as Thursday. Grgurich joined the Mavericks in somewhat of a consulting role, with management giving him flexibility to attend practices and games as he chooses. He had unexpectedly left the Denver Nuggets last summer, with the Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman and Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reporting Grgurich's disappointment Denver didn't re-sign executive and longtime friend Mark Warkentien. Grgurich spent 12 seasons coaching under George Karl, which included a trip to the 1996 NBA Finals with the Seattle Sonics and five division titles. He also had assistant coaching stints with the Portland Trail Blazers (2004-05 and 1998-2001, including two Western Conference Finals appearances), Phoenix Suns (2002-04), Milwaukee Bucks (2001-02) and Sonics (1991-98). 

Before coaching in the NBA, Grgurich spent 12 seasons as an assistant under Jerry Tarkanian at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where the program won the 1990 NCAA championship, made three Final Four appearances and featured future NBA stars such as Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon and Greg Anthony during Grgurich's tenure. After lettering three times in both basketball and baseball at the University of Pittsburgh, he eventually assumed head coaching duties in 1975 and led the Panthers to a 71-70 record and one trip to the NIT.

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Lakers assistant coaching candidate profile: John Kuester


Below is the third post in a series looking at potential Lakers assistant coaches. We'll look at John Kuester, who, The Times' Broderick Turner recently reported, probably would be hired by new Lakers Coach Mike Brown for his staff should the Detroit Pistons let Kuester go from his head coaching position.

Background:  Kuester's job security remains in question, Turner reported, in part because of a player revolt last season that entailed five of them skipping practice. The Detroit Free Press' Vince Ellis also wrote that Kuester isn't expected to return for the final season of a three-year deal. Kuester has coached the Pistons for two seasons with a combined 57-107 record, no playoff appearances, and plenty of turmoil, including several players' reportedly laughing when he earned an ejection and drawing comparisons to Sean Penn because he's the Dead Man Walking. Kuester has had several assistant coaching stints, including the University of Richmond (1980-81), Boston University (1981-83), the Boston Celtics (1995-97), Philadelphia 76ers (1997-2003), Detroit  (2003-04), the New Jersey Nets (2004-05), the 76ersagain (2005-06), the Orlando Magic (2006-07) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2007-09).

Kuester's head coaching experience includes succeeding Rick Pitino  at Boston U, as the youngest coach in NCAA Division I history, with a two-year stint from 1983-85, and then moving to George Washington from 1985-1990. In the 1988-89 season Kuester's Colonials went 1-27. He finished with a 81-122 record coaching college basketball.

Connection to Brown: Kuester was an assistant under Brown with the Cavaliers from 2007-2009 where he was assigned to be the team's "offensive coordinator."

Style: Kuester has coached some of the league's elite players, including LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Dikembe Mutombo, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace  and Ben Wallace. But ESPN's Stephen A. Smith says that several Detroit players didn't respect Kuester because he was afraid of standing up to players, a quality that wouldn't bode well with the Lakers. Nonetheless, Cavs the Blog's John Krolik credited Kuester for overseeing the Cavaliers' offense, helping them improve in using their frontcourt players on the weak side to free up their backcourt. 

Photo: If Pistons Coach John Kuester, shown during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, is not retained by Detroit, he's likely to be a target of Lakers Coach Mike Brown to be a top assistant. Credit: Jason Miller / US Presswire / March 25, 2010.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Lakers assistant coaching candidate profile: Chuck Person


Below is the third post in a series looking at potential Lakers assistant coaches. We'll look at Chuck Person, whom The Times' Mike Bresnahan reported Coach Mike Brown planned to interview Wednesday as a possible assistant.

Background: Person joined the Lakers' coaching staff before the 2009-2010 season on an interim basis to help with Ron Artest'sadjustment with the Lakers. Person had experience coaching Artest as an  assistant in Indiana and Sacramento. Soon enough, he worked closely with Kobe Bryant on shooting and with Andrew Bynum on his post presence, and was asked to stay on a full-time basis. He earned plenty of credit from the Lakers for helping with the team's shooting, as well as implementing the  defense that spurred the Lakers to a 17-1 mark following the NBA All-Star break. The Times Broderick Turner reportedthat he had an interview with the Golden State Warriors for their vacant coaching position and was even considered a candidate for the Lakers' head coaching job, though he never received a formal interview. In a sitdown interview with The Times' Lakers blog, Person revealed his interest for a head coaching opportunity. 

Connection to Brown: Person and Brown worked as assistants at Indiana. 

Style: Person would be the only holdover from Jackson's staff and could help ease the transition. Just as Brown impressed the Lakers' front office with his detailed scouting reports and DVDs highlighting  defensive schemes, Person's known to carry index cards detailing every drill he's done since going to Jerry West'sbasketball camp in seventh grade. Person is considered to be an unassuming, approachable and engaging teacher. Bryant, who had struggled at times adjusting to his fractured right index finger, credited Person for helping him change his shooting stroke in the 2009-10 season by transferring the pressure on his right index finger to his middle finger and thumb. Bynum, who took a large role in buying into the Lakers' new defensive scheme this season, can credit Person for convincing Jackson to alter the team's defense to keep Bynum in the lane instead of out on the perimeter to help out the backcourt with stopping pick-and-rolls. Some players had shared in their exit interviews that the new scheme proved to be a deep learning curve, but that spoke more to their inconsistent execution of it than actual knowledge of the system.

--Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at

Assistant coach candidate profiles: Michael Malone

Below is the second post in a series looking at potential Lakers assistant coaches. We'll look at Michael Malone, whom The Times' Broderick Turner reported might be hired by new Coach Mike Brown. The New Orleans Times-Picayune's John Reid also reported that the Hornets have given Malone permission to interview with the Lakers.

Background: Malone is currently the No. 1 assistant under Hornets Coach Monty Williams, but an NBA official briefed on the matter told Turner that the Hornets are mulling their options with Malone. CBS Sports' Ken Berger reported that Malone is also considered a candidate for the Golden State Warriors' vacant head-coaching spot, but various reports indicate that he's not the favorite. Prior to his stint with the Hornets, Malone, son of longtime NBA coach Brendan Malone, was with Cleveland, after spending four seasons with the New York Knicks, originally joining that team under Jeff Van Gundy in 2001 as an associate coach and then becoming an assistant coach under Don Chaney in May 2003. His other coaching stints include his start at Oakland (Mich.) University, a three-year stay at Providence College (1995-98), one year at Virginia (1998-1999) and two years as the lead assistant at Manhattan College (1999-2001), 

Malone has kept his offseason fairly busy, serving as an assistant coach for the Canadian Men's Senior National team since 2007 and guiding them to a top-four finish in the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship. Other coaching stints in the offseason have included being the head coach for Cleveland's summer-league entry and coaching the Knicks' summer-league teams for two seasons.

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