Near and at the end of the season, the Lakers lost several front office staffers to either resignation or by letting them go outright. Strength and Conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco and Assistant GM Glenn Carraro both resigned while Analytics Director Yuju Lee was outright let go. We learned that these moves were part of a larger front office reorganization, one that would restructure the scouting department as well.
A name that did not get a lot of press during the overhaul and shakeup was Rondre Jackson, the team’s Director of Player Development. From the team’s media guide:
Rondre Jackson begins his 10th year with the Lakers franchise and second as director of player development. He is primarily responsible for assisting General Manager Mitch Kupchak in the day-to-day operations of the team with a focus on the personal growth of the players on the roster, providing resources and assisting in the development of life skills off-the-court and outside of basketball. Jackson serves on the NBA’s Steering Committee for player development, and won the Dana Davis Award for best player development work in the NBA for the 2015-16 season.
So, that’s what Jackson did. And, based on him being recognized by the league for his work just a year prior, he was pretty good at his job. And he was let go at the end of the year.
Now, it seems, the Lakers are in the process of finding his replacement.
From Brad Turner of the LA Times:
Turner reports that Maggette has withdrawn his name from consideration, but it looks like the Lakers are going to continue to explore options beyond those they have already spoken with anyways.
I do find it interesting that every candidate mentioned was a former player — though Conner is much older than both Peterson and Maggette, wrapping his career (1995) before the latter two were even in the league. Though, when diving deeper, having guys who have lived through what these players are going through and who can be a resource to them with words of wisdom and offer advice about some of the pitfalls players face off the court while also providing some guidance on how to optimize some of the opportunities they have open to them off it.
In any event, I’m looking forward to see who the Lakers tab for this position. The person who is in this role may not get a lot of pub or spotlight, but he can be a key member of the front office and an important part of the development of these guys as they grow in the league. Especially on a roster with young players like the Lakers possess.