From Ross Gasmer, Lakers Nation: It was only a month ago that Mark Madsen was being introduced at the Lakers practice facility as the new head coach of the D-League Los Angeles Defenders. Madsen was a logical choice as head coach after he spent a season as an assistant under Johnny Dawkins at Stanford and his prior playing days with the Lakers. However, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, Madsen received a promotion to the big leagues: “A person with knowledge of the situation said Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni is adding former Lakers forward Mark Madsen as an assistant coach.”
From TheGreatMambino, Silver Screen & Roll: Los Angeles Lakers free agent center Dwight Howard isn’t likely to re-sign with Los Angeles after the July 10th moratorium period ends,ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports. The main reasons? He doesn’t want to play in Mike D’Antoni’s system, he did not enjoy playing with Kobe Bryant (though he wouldn’t mind doing it in a different system), and he doesn’t want to be “second fiddle”. From Broussard’s article: “Howard’s major problem with the Lakers is the system that coach Mike D’Antoni employs. Beyond that, he did not enjoy playing with Kobe Bryant, though he could manage to do so in a different system, a source said. Howard also does not want to be second fiddle to Bryant for several more seasons.”
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: What an incredible summer it turned out to be in 2007, and not just because Kobe Bryant went on a “trade-me” rant, which led to the Lakers acquiring Pau Gasol the following season, which led to NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. That summer also marked the Lakers’ last significant participation in that thing known as the NBA draft. They had a first-round pick six years ago and actually used it, selecting Javaris Crittenton with the 19th overall selection. His career didn’t turn out so well, though he was eventually used as a piece in the 2008 trade to acquire Gasol. The Lakers again will essentially sit out Thursday’s draft, selecting 48th out of 60 and continuing their strategy of punting when it comes to amateur players, the franchise long ago deciding to focus almost entirely on veteran free agents as their impact players.
From Ian Begley, ESPN: Steve Nash is not yet 100 percent healthy, but the 39-year-old point guard is confident he will be at full health for the start of training camp with the Los Angeles Lakers. ”I’ll be fine,” Nash said Wednesday after playing in his foundation’s annual celebrity soccer game. “It’s just going to take me another few weeks to get back to 100 percent and then I’ll train like usual for the season.” Nash, who suffered through a fractured fibula and right hamstring and hip injuries last season, says he does not think he will need to play on a minutes limit next season. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti recently suggested in an interview with Lakers.com that Nash could benefit from a minutes limit.