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Kurt Rambis

Kurt Rambis
File:Kurt Rambis huddle cropped.jpg
Rambis as head coach of the Timberwolves
New York Knicks
Position Associate Head Coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1958-02-25) February 25, 1958 (age 57)
Terre Haute, Indiana
Nationality American
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Career information
High school Cupertino (Cupertino, California)
College Santa Clara (1976–1980)
NBA draft 1980 / Round: 3 / Pick: 58th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Pro career 1980–1995
Position Power forward
Number 31, 30, 18
Coaching career 1994–present
Career history
As player:
1980–1981 AEK Athens (Greece)
19811988 Los Angeles Lakers
19881989 Charlotte Hornets
19891992 Phoenix Suns
19921994 Sacramento Kings
19931995 Los Angeles Lakers
As coach:
19941999 Los Angeles Lakers (assistant)
1999 Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers (assistant)
20092011 Minnesota Timberwolves
2013–2014 Los Angeles Lakers (assistant)
2014–present New York Knicks (associate HC)
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 4,603 (5.2 ppg)
Rebounds 4,961 (5.6 rpg)
Assists 931 (1.1 apg)
Stats at

Darrell Kurt Rambis (born February 25, 1958) is an American basketball coach and former professional basketball player. He currently works as an assistant coach for the National Basketball Association's New York Knicks.[1] He previously served as a head coach for the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.


Rambis was born in Terre Haute, Indiana.[2] His family moved to Cupertino, California in his preschool years; his number is retired at Cupertino High School. He graduated from Santa Clara University, where he played from 1976 to 1980, becoming its second leading rebounder and all-time leading scorer with 1,736 points. During his Santa Clara years he was awarded the WCC Freshman of the Year and Conference Player of the Year as a senior. His jersey #34 was retired on December 29, 2008.[3]

NBA years (1980–1995)

Rambis was drafted by the New York Knicks as the 58th pick in the 1980 NBA draft, but he was subsequently waived by the Knicks. He played in Greece in the Greek League for the club AEK Athens, under the name Kyriakos Rambidis.[4] Being of Greek descent,[5] he also acquired Greek citizenship.[4] AEK won the Greek Cup in 1981.

He was re-signed by the Knicks in 1981 but never played a game for them. His success as an NBA player started when he was signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1981. Rambis spent most of his 14 seasons in the NBA with the Lakers, winning championships in 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988 as part of their Showtime teams. Rambis also played for the Charlotte Hornets, Phoenix Suns, and Sacramento Kings before returning to the Lakers in 1993.

During his playing days, Rambis was a favorite among the Lakers fans because of his status as an overachieving underdog and ultimate team-player. Known for his defensive and rebounding skills, Rambis also was an efficient clean-up man on offense, with his field goal percentage reaching 59.5 percent at the peak of his career. He was remembered in both Santa Clara and Los Angeles for his all-out effort and willingness to do the "dirty work" that many players do not embrace. Rambis usually wore a thick moustache and thick-rimmed black glasses, prompting Lakers announcer Chick Hearn to nickname him "Superman" (in reference to the character's alter ego, Clark Kent). He finally retired with the Lakers in 1995 after 14 years in the NBA.

Coach for the Lakers

Rambis began working as a special assistant coach for the Lakers in 1994, but eventually returned to the active playing roster. He was waived at the beginning of the 1995–96 season, and resumed his role as an assistant.[6] He served as head coach of the Lakers during the 1999 "lockout season" after coach Del Harris was fired. He achieved moderate success, registering a 24–13 record in the regular season before being swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1999 Western Conference Semifinals. When Phil Jackson was hired as head coach, Rambis served as the Lakers' assistant general manager. He later became an assistant coach under Jackson between 2001 and 2004, helping the Lakers reach the 2002 and the 2004 NBA Finals, with Los Angeles winning a title in the former series. He was hired again as an assistant in 2005, along with former player Brian Shaw,[7] helping the Lakers to another pair of finals in 2008 and 2009. The Lakers won in the latter attempt.

Head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves (2009–2011)

In 2007, Rambis interviewed for the Sacramento Kings coaching job. He was a finalist again in 2009 to coach the Kings, and after serious discussions, he was offered the job, but he wanted more than a two-year contract and more money than was offered, so he turned down the job.

On August 8, 2009, Rambis was announced as the new head coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves, agreeing to a contract believed to be worth 4 years and $8 million. Rambis succeeded Kevin McHale, infamous for taking him down in Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals.

On July 12, 2011, Rambis was fired as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves after compiling a 32–132 record in two seasons with the team.[8]

Return to the Los Angeles Lakers

On July 29, 2013, the Lakers announced they had re-hired Rambis as an assistant coach.[9]

New York Knicks Assistant Head Coach

On July 7, 2014, the Knicks announced they had hired Rambis to be the assistant head coach of the team.[10]

Outside basketball

Rambis also had a recurring role as Coach Cleary in the family drama 7th Heaven. He also guest-starred in season one of Sweet Valley High in episode thirteen "Club X" as a friend of Elizabeth and in an episode of the Commish as a basketball player. Rambis made a cameo guest appearance in season 8 of the hit show Married With Children, and also appeared in the 'Going Places' episode (as himself) of It's Garry Shandling's Show. Rambis also made a cameo appearance in an episode of Malcolm and Eddie. Rambis is also mentioned in the songs "Blao!" by rapper Hot Karl, "Mayor" by Pac Div, and "Kurt Rambis" by Sean Price. In "Blao!", the line states "I'm wearing the goggles that Kurt Rambis used to sport." The song was featured on NBA Live 2003. In "Mayor", the line states "your boy hustle hard like Rambis for the Lakers." "Kurt Rambis" by Sean Price, is titled after him and briefly mentions him in the track.

Coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
LAL 1998–99 37 24 13 .648 2nd in Pacific 8 3 5 .375 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
MIN 2009–10 82 15 67 .183 5th in Northwest Missed Playoffs
MIN 2010–11 82 17 65 .207 5th in Northwest Missed Playoffs
Career 201 56 145 .279 8 3 5 .375

See also


External links

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