Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Coby Karl was appointed today as the coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers’ NBA Development League team.
Karl succeeds Casey Owens, who became a Laker assistant coach and advance scout after coaching the D-Fenders for one season, guiding them to the NBA Development League Finals.
“It is an honor to be back with the Lakers organization, the team that gave me my first job and allowed me to realize my dream of playing in the NBA,” said Karl, a son of former NBA coach George Karl.
“My goal going forward will be to foster an environment and culture that permits our players and staff to fulfill their dreams. Our pursuit will focus on excellence, both as individuals and as members of the Los Angeles D- Fenders organization.”
The 33-year-old Karl began his coaching career last season as an assistant coach with the D-League’s Westchester Knicks.
“Influenced by some of the game’s all-time great coaches and having played in the NBA, the NBA D-League, and professionally overseas, Coby has a unique mind for the game and can relate to players trying to take that next step to the NBA,” D-Fenders general manager Nick Mazzella said.
“We feel Coby has a bright future in coaching, and are confident in his ability to create a positive culture while developing players in a winning environment.”
Karl played 17 games with the Lakers during the 2007-2008 season. He also played three games with the Cleveland Cavaliers and four with the Golden State Warriors in the 2009-10 season.
Karl also played professionally in Spain, Italy and Germany, along with the D-Fenders and two other D-League teams.
Karl is the 10th coach of the D-Fenders, including two who took NBA jobs before coaching a game with the team, but are considered by the team to have been its coach. The D-Fenders began play in 2006.