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Report: Kings adding veteran defensive coach Mike Longabardi to Luke Walton’s staff

Mike Longabardi will be the next coach to take on the seemingly impossible task of improving Sacramento's defense.

Luke Walton's coaching staff has been a bit of a revolving door since he signed on to be the Sacramento Kings' head coach back in 2019. We saw Igor Kokoskov leave the Kings early in his tenure, and as recently as this summer, both Jesse Mermuys and Rex Kalamian have left for coaching staff positions elsewhere.

The Kings already plugged one of those holes by bringing in former Kings great and then-current color commentator, Doug Christie. By all accounts, Christie is going to make a solid addition to Walton's team, but there is a real experience drop to Christie from those coaches leaving Sacramento.

Monte McNair, Luke Walton, and the Kings addressed that coaching staff experience concern on Monday. The Athletic's Sam Amick is reporting that veteran NBA coach Mike Longabardi is joining Luke Walton's staff in Sacramento as a "front-of-bench assistant."

Mike Longabardi has a pretty impressive resume. He started his NBA assistant coaching career in Houston where he may have connected with Kings General Manager Monte McNair who was also working with the Rockets at the time, but the overlapping window there is pretty tight.

After Houston, Longabardi joined the Celtics and a coaching staff that included both Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau. The Celtics won the NBA championship in Longabardi's first season in Boston, and would takeover as defensive coordinator under Doc Rivers when Tom Thibodeau left for his own head coaching position.

Longabardi spent some time in Phoenix under head coach Jeff Hornacek before heading to Cleveland where he was the defensive coordinator for Ty Lue. The Cavaliers won the NBA championship in Longabardi's first season running the show on defense. Scott Brooks brought Longabardi to the Wizards in 2019, and he's been there ever since – until now.

If it appears like I just regurgitated Mike Longabardi's Wikipedia page, it's because that's exactly what I did.

At any rate, Longabardi has the resume of someone that could, in theory, fix the Kings' historically bad defense. I don't know if Mr. Longabardi has future head coaching aspirations, but improving Sacramento's defense would be one hell of a selling point.

Good luck, coach! Welcome to Sacramento.

 

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SMF-PDXConnection
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August 16, 2021 6:32 pm

What’s more likely by 2022: an improved Kings defense or world peace and goodwill toward man?

Good luck, coach. You’re gonna need it.

Henry
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August 16, 2021 7:10 pm

Cheers!

“I like to say a prayer and drink to world peace.”

Friendly reminder that we’ve been stuck in Groundhog Day for 15 years.

RobHessing
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August 16, 2021 6:34 pm

Hope he brings a tape player with him.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 18
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August 16, 2021 8:52 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

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Amonk81
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August 16, 2021 7:04 pm

It really makes no sense, if your goal is winning, to keep Coachless Walton.

Feels like all these coaches leaving speaks to the fucked up owner and organization.

Vivek-“we have a historically bad defense under a coach who’s had horrid Defensive teams before you say? Let’s keep him on and bring in a bunch of D specialist to make up for my egotistical idiocy. “

Like covering up the shit your dog laid in the corner with air freshener instead of just throwing it out.

PlayoffModeT
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August 16, 2021 7:12 pm

I really like the Monte and crew are trying to create a defensive culture in Sac. It makes me think it will take a lot to pry Mitchell away.

I’m not sure what the next move is and this may not be aligning with the defensive strategy, but i hope we kick the tires on Svi. Ideal size for a backup SF, spacer, youth, and cheap/buy low.

LesJepsen3pointer
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August 16, 2021 7:15 pm

Good luck, we’re all counting on you.

Pistola916
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August 16, 2021 7:25 pm

Can’t wait to read the comments when the Kings give up 120 on opening night

9sac8
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August 16, 2021 7:33 pm
Reply to  Pistola916

🤣 🤣 🤣

AnybodyButBagley
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August 16, 2021 7:44 pm
Reply to  Pistola916

Walton will be talking about the potential of the team to score 130.

BabalooMagoo
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August 16, 2021 8:35 pm

But first he’ll have to watch tape.

AnybodyButBagley
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August 16, 2021 7:41 pm

So……when do we get a real head coach?

NorCalKingsFan
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August 16, 2021 7:54 pm

So as long as the trend continues, we’ll be able to add the following line to Lombardi’s wiki page

“The Kings won the NBA championship in Longabardi’s first season running the show on defense.”

Won NBA championship in first year with Celtics
Coached with Phoenix
Won NBA championship in first year with Cavs
Coached with Washington
Won NBA championship in first year with Kings?

Last edited 3 months ago by NorCalKingsFan
WizsSox
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August 16, 2021 8:56 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

Right!?! Monte just got the Kings a 50/50 shot at winning the title. Who’s taking the big swings now : )
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aplumley
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August 17, 2021 7:48 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

I almost posted the identical comment. Good take.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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August 16, 2021 8:50 pm

At least it wasn’t Mike Bibby! Hahaha, LOL, you know what I’m saying?!!
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Last edited 3 months ago by Adamsite
Hamlet1989
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August 16, 2021 9:22 pm

Short of any changes to the core, Monte is clearly focused on acquiring personnel with reputations for defense. I’ll give him that.

BeTheBall
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