Frank Hamblen Rumors
Frank Hamblen was enjoying another warm day in Southern California recently. He was sitting on the patio that overlooks his pool, living the good life. But Hamblen, a longtime assistant coach under Phil Jackson, said if the Knicks’ president called and asked him to work for him again, he would get on a plane to New York. “Absolutely,” Hamblen said. “I’m bored to death.” He added, “Opportunity is an amazing thing. I know Phil was sitting in Playa Del Rey bored to death, itching to get back in. I don’t know if he’ll even call. I don’t know what’s going through his mind. But he has my number.”
“I want to invite him to come and watch us practice and just kind of see how I’m doing,” said Shaw, who recently helped former Lakers assistant Frank Hamblen connect with former Lakers player and current Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue to observe Clippers training camp in San Diego.
If Jackson decides to take the job, he’s expected to bring back former assistant coaches Kurt Rambis, Jim Cleamons and Frank Hamblen. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said money won’t be a problem in negotiations with Jackson.
Jackson, according to a source who knows him well, is in good shape after having a knee replacement last March. The likelihood is that if Jackson returns to coach, he’d want to bring back many of his longtime assistants, including Jim Cleamons, Frank Hamblen and Kurt Rambis. Most observers around the league think it would be easy for the team’s current personnel that weren’t in Los Angeles when Jackson last coached the Lakers to pick up the triangle offense Jackson has used since his days in Chicago in the 1990s. The offense would be especially good for Howard, who could thrive in the low post the same way Shaquille O’Neal did when the Lakers won three straight titles from 2001 through 2003.
While a source close to the situation has said interim coach Frank Vogel is likely to return on a one-year deal, it appears he’ll have to make some concessions for that to occur. According to the Indianapolis Star, Vogel was told on Wednesday that “he’ll have to change his staff if he’s hired” and that “assistants Jay DeFruscio, Walter McCarty and Vitaly Potapenko will not be part of Vogel’s staff if he returns as head coach.” A Los Angeles Times report indicated that longtime Lakers assistant Frank Hamblen is being considered as a Vogel assistant.
Hamblen would be interested in the job if approached, according to the newspaper. Former head coach Terry Porter and Minnesota Timberwolves assistant John-Blair Bickerstaff are possible candidates, according to sources.
Frank Hamblen, one of Phil Jackson’s top assistant coaches with the Lakers and Chicago Bulls, has been mentioned as a possible candidate to be an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers, according to NBA officials. Frank Vogel, who took over the Pacers job during the regular season and is the leading candidate to become the full-time coach, has been told by management that he has to change his staff and hire three new assistant coaches, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Phil Jackson is retired, we think. The Los Angeles Lakers season is over, we know. But that’s about all the certainty in longtime assistant coach Frank Hamblen’s world these days. “I’m not looking to retire yet,” said Hamblen, who has been with the Lakers for 12 years and is the longest-tenured assistant coach in the NBA.
With 30 minutes left until the tip-off of Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, some in the room can’t take it anymore. Assistant coach Frank Hamblen emerges from the confined space of the locker room and heads for the fruit plate set up on a table in the hallway. It’s a good spread, but he’s nervous, not hungry. So he grabs the game notes sitting on the same table and starts flipping through, looking for some piece of information that might help right what has gone so wrong for the Los Angeles Lakers in this series. “Find anything good in there,” I joke, trying to cut the tension. “Not yet,” he says, smiling.
Kupchak said the Lakers are negotiating one-year deals for assistant coaches Frank Hamblen, Brian Shaw and Jim Cleamons that the GM hopes will get done in about a week. Kupchak said the Lakers first want to get Coach Phil Jackson’s deal signed. “That should be done soon,” Kupchak said. “We’ve had discussions [with our assistants]. I don’t see any problems.”