El SEGUNDO – Frank Hamblen, former head coach and assistant coach for the Lakers, passed away
this morning in Del Mar, California.
Hamblen, who was a member of the Lakers coaching staff from 1999-2011, served as an assistant coach under Phil Jackson from 1999-2004 and again from 2005-2011, helping lead the team to five NBA championships (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010). During the 2004-05 season, Hamblen was the top assistant to Lakers head coach Rudy Tomjanovich and assumed the position of head coach in February of 2005 after Tomjanovich stepped down from the role. Prior to his stint with the Lakers, Hamblen spent three seasons (1996-1999) as an assistant coach with the Bulls where he helped lead the team to two NBA Championships (1997, 1998).
“Frank Hamblen was a great coach and a good friend,” said Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton. “He was not only beloved by everyone in the Lakers organization but by those in the NBA community as well. Frank coached me as a rookie and in addition to all I learned from him on the court, he also emphasized how important it was to enjoy life off the court as well. My thoughts and prayers go out to Frank’s family. ”
During his 42-year career as a coach in the NBA and ABA, Hamblen was a top assistant on the Bucks for nine seasons (1987-1996) and worked as assistant coach for the Kansas City/Sacramento Kings (1977-1987), Denver Rockets (1972-1977) and the San Diego/Houston Rockets (1969-72).
Born in Terre Haute, Indiana on April 16, 1947, Hamblen attended Garfield High School where he was recognized as one of the top 12 high school players in Indiana before attending Syracuse University. In 2007 he was inducted into the Indiana Sports Hall of Fame.