When I think of former Lakers big man Mark Madsen, the first thing that pops into my mind isn’t “player development”, but he certainly seems capable, and the Lakers are now betting on his ability to develop players.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak announced on Friday that the team as hired Madsen, along with Larry Lewis, as a player development coach with the franchise. The quote of the day, however, came from much-maligned head coach Mike D’Antoni concerning Madsen’s arrival:
“Mark has endless energy and is a workaholic. He’s developed players at the college level and I think he’ll do a great job making the jump to the NBA.”
Now, that‘s more like it. Madsen is best known for both his fantastic bench support (aka towel waving, cheering, etc.) and a legendary performance of dance at a Lakers championship parade during their early 2000s three-peat. His on-court achievement in the NBA as a player was lacking in substance (he averaged 2.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game), but he is one of the famous role players in recent memory, and this move is sure to inspire the fan base a bit.
With the admittedly jovial spirit of his arrival, it would be easy to overlook Madsen’s potential impact, but I won’t do that. He is an admittedly brilliant individual who sports a decade-long NBA career and a Stanford degree, so his work with the Lakers front-court players could be extremely valuable. However, the question that we’re all waiting for an answer for is how Madsen will act on the bench behind Mike D’Antoni.