Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, and Kurt Rambis played meaningful roles with the Los Angles Lakers, combining for 12 NBA championships as players, and six as coaches. Shaw and Rambis were assistants on Phil Jackson’s staff, and Fisher is currently head coach of the New York Knicks. But it’s two unlikely bit players in the Lakers Dynasties, Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton, who are now on the cusp of adding another ring.
Lue twice won titles in L.A. (2000 & 2001), and is most remembered for being stepped over by Allen Iverson in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals. He is now an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending the past five seasons in Boston and Los Angeles on the bench with Doc Rivers.
Walton won a title with the Lakers in 2010, and had a stint as an assistant coach with the University of Memphis during the 2011 NBA lockout before joining Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors this season.
Both work closely in player development, each possessing a wealth of experience from having played on championship teams with MVP’s. Walton has an NBA father like Steph Curry and was tootled by Phil Jackson like Steve Kerr. Lue was teammates with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan over a span of four seasons, and was a part of the Lakers team that won a title with a 16-1 playoff record.
Kerr spurned Phil and the Knicks to put the finishing touches on what former coach Mark Jackson built. But although his tenure as president has gotten off to a rocky start with the Knicks, there should be a degree off satisfaction for Phil Jackson seeing his former players compete in the roles of coaches for an NBA championship.