Lakers Quotes 6/29/99 (assistant coaches, little trade speculation)

Lakers Quotes 6/29/99 (assistant coaches, little trade speculation)

Post by Garret Okamo » Wed, 30 Jun 1999 04:00:00

About how the Lakers will probably not move up in
the draft, West said:
"We thought at one time that was a possibility, but,
no, doesn't seem to be much of a chance there." (LAT)
Note: There was much speculation that West would use
Rice to trade up to get Baron Davis, a player that he
has repeatedly publicly praised.

About other possible trades including Rice, West:
"some teams have interest in him." (LAT)

About Jackson wanting to hire his old assistants, Kupchak:
"It looks like he's earmarked some people that he'd like
to have, independent of our staff. As hopeful as we were
that he would hire somebody from our staff, I don't think
you could say we're surprised he decided to do what he's
doing. And it's certainly understandable." (LADN)

Asked about the front office jobs they would assign to
Rambis/Drew/Bertka, Kupchak said:
"There are certain areas we do need help in." (LADN)

Kupchak added that he:
"would be surprised if we didn't have at least one (of
them) stay on." (LADN)

Bill Bertka said that bringing in a new staff is:
"a logical move most coaches make." (LAT)

About joining the front office after 18 years as an
assistant coach with the Lakers (longest stint with
the same team in the NBA), Bertka said:
"I've been lucky, and I'm appreciative of that. It's
worked out great for me. I've had a long tenure,
with a lot of fine coaches." (LAT)
Note: Jackson also asked Bertka to work with the Lakers
summer league team. (LAT)  LADN reports that Bertka
will be the coach of the Lakers summer league team.

About coaching since 1976 (with the NO Jazz), Bertka:
"I've been on the bench, every game, for 2,197
consecutive games, exhibition, regular-season and
playoffs. I did add it up, just to see what it was." (LAT)

Bertka joked:
"2,197 is in jeopardy. I've been very fortunate in
my tenure with the Lakers. And appreciative." (LADN)

About how he may have to leave coaching soon, Bertka:
"I don't have to cross that bridge today. I've got
all summer before that. I'll come to that bridge
when I have to." (LAT)

About taking a front office job, Bertka said:
"My preference, and the thing I enjoy most, is being
part of the game and working with the players. I'll
approach that in September." (LADN)

About Jackson's desire to fill his staff with former
assistants, Larry Drew said:
"That's about what we expected. But I'd still very
much like to be a part of it, if that's the way it
works out." (LAT)

"I kind of had the gut feeling he would bring in his
own staff. I was just hoping that I would be a part
of it." (LADN)

"He's basically going after his own guys. I'm going to
remain optimistic." (RPE)
Note: Drew added that Jackson told him that he wanted
assistants who understood his system and that there would
be a lot of teaching going on in practices. (RPE)

Note: LADN says that Jackson will contact Winter after
his contract with the Bulls ends Wednesday. If Winter
turns him down, then LADN reports one of the current
assistants will be retained, probably Drew. OCR reports
that Johnny Bach and John Paxson are possibilities,
but none of the other publications mentioned them.
RPE states that Jackson contacted Frank Hamblem.
OCR reports that both Drew and Bertka had been showing
up daily throughout the offseason, hoping to be
retained by Jackson.

Asked what happened during the meeting between Phil
and Bertka/Drew/him, Rambis said:
"He just basically said that he's going to bring in
his own staff. At this point in time, I'm not sure
what my future holds." (LAT)

"I wouldn't say I was surprised. But these have been
completely unchartered waters. I had no idea what to
expect." (OCR)

"He wants to bring in his own staff of people. It's not
necessarily a problem. That's what most people want to
do." (LADN)
Note: Jackson cut through the suspense by telling Rambis
quickly that there was no assistant spot open for him.
Rambis and Jackson then talked for 45 minutes as Phil
asked Rambis about the Laker players.

About not being retained as an assistant, Rambis said:
"It's disappointing that I won't be able to be an
assistant coach with the Lakers this year, but I just
have to move forward. It was an up-and-down year. . . .
But it was a tremendous learning experience." (LADN)

"I'm supposed to talk with Laker management about the
possibility of getting offered a job in the future." (LADN)

Assistant Professor, Santa Clara University