The Goin’ to Work coaching tree is impressive

With the appointment of Darvin Ham as the next Los Angeles Lakers head coach, another former Detroit Pistons player is in a prominent position in the NBA.

There’s probably no other coaching job in the league that, despite recent failures, has as much luster as the Lakers. Many coaching legends have held this position, including Phil Jackson and Pat Riley.

Darvin started as an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks in 2013 and eventually made his way to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he served as an assistant on their championship team last season.

As one of the most respected assistant coaches in the league, it was only a matter of time before Darvin landed a head coaching job. Now he finds himself in Los Angeles in an enormous high-pressure situation.

Being the head coach of LeBron James has proven fickle over the years. Throw in the fact that you’re in LA and the Russell Westbrook situation and they’ve got your job cut out for you.

That may be why Darvin Ham decided to bring in the Ultimate Enforcer.

The players respect Rasheed. At least that is the hope. If anyone can light a fire among Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, it’s Rasheed.

There’s a reason the Pistons hired Rasheed as an assistant in 2013, and why Penny Hardaway gave him a chance for the University of Memphis last season: Rasheed Wallace is a leader and knows how to get things done.

It would serve the Lakers best if both Darvin and Rasheed instilled a sense of defensive intensity and togetherness in this Lakers team, much like the Detroit Pistons did in 2003-2004.

Detroit Pistons: The Goin’ to Work Coaching Tree

With the addition of the two Lakers coaches to the list, the 2003-2004 Pistons roster now has eight players with NBA coaching or front office experience.

Even the man who brought it all together, Joe Dumars, is now the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations.

That’s an impressive coaching tree.

On the 2004 roster, Chauncey Billups is the current head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers after serving as an assistant with the Clippers. This is one we all saw coming when Chauncey was a coach on the floor as a player.

Tayshaun Prince is currently the vice president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies, one of the league’s most respected front offices.

Ben Wallace is a team engagement consultant for the Detroit Pistons and part of the basketball operation. His responsibilities include being the all-time best lucky charm in the NBA draft lottery, and he has also worked with the Pistons’ bigs.

It will be interesting if the Pistons can find a similar spot for Richard Hamilton now that he is back on good terms with the organization.

Even Corliss Williamson, Mehmet Okur and Lindsey Hunter have served as assistant coaches for various NBA franchises including the Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns.

Such an extensive list really makes you think…there was something impressive going on in that dressing room this season.

It may have been the guidance of Larry Brown, whose resume speaks for itself and who now serves as an assistant coach for the University of Memphis.

It could have been the leadership of Joe Dumars or the selfless leadership of the veterans who are all up and down the roster.

We know it wasn’t just one thing, but whatever it was, the legacy of this championship roster continues to grow.

As time has passed, the influence of the 2004 Pistons can still be felt, not just in the legend but throughout the NBA leadership framework.

These are the kind of guys you want to run the league.

This also shows that the circle is really closing.

18 years ago, the Detroit Pistons defeated the Lakers in five games to become NBA champions. Now two of those players will be trying to build things up in Los Angeles.

When you need stability and excellence, just ask a former Detroit Piston.

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