D-FENDERS ANNOUNCE THE HIRING OF HEAD COACH ERIC MUSSELMAN
EL SEGUNDO, August 18th, 2011 - The Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League have hired Eric Musselman as head coach, it was announced today by team President Joey Buss.
Im excited to announce Eric Musselman as the Los Angeles D-Fenders head coach, said Buss. He has vast experiences in both the NBA and NBA Development League and will be a great addition to our franchise. I look forward to working with Eric and having a successful season.
Musselman, who has over 20 years of coaching experience, most recently served as head coach for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League. During his stint in Reno, he compiled a 34-16 record, second best in the league, while leading the team to the Western Conference regular season title and a semifinal berth in the NBA D-League playoffs.
Im extremely excited to be joining a first class organization like the D-Fenders, said Musselman. Our staff will work hard to develop young players for the next level while at the same time being an extremely competitive team.
Before coaching in the NBA Development League, Musselman spent over ten years as a coach in the NBA. The Minneapolis native was an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic (1997-2000) and the Atlanta Hawks (2000-2002) before receiving his first head coaching job with the Golden State Warriors in 2002. During his two seasons with the Warriors, Musselman compiled a 75-89 record and was runner-up in votes for Coach of the Year in 2003. In 2004, Musselman joined the Memphis Grizzlies and spent two seasons (2004-06) as the top assistant under Coach Mike Fratello. In 2006, Musselman was named head coach of the Sacramento Kings where he coached for one season compiling a 33-49 record.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks in the NBA, Musselman was a head coach in the CBA. In 1989, he was named head coach of the Rapid City Thrillers at the age of 23, making him the youngest coach in CBA history. During his tenure in the CBA, Musselman posted a 270122 record (.688), marking the second highest winning percentage in league history behind George Karl. He holds the honor of being the only person in CBA history to coach in five league All-Star Games (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997) and was the first coach in professional basketball history to win 100 games by the age of 28.
Musselman also spent two seasons in the USBL, where he led the Florida Sharks to back-to-back league titles. In two seasons, Musselman coached the Sharks to a combined 53-3 (.947) record. He holds the highest winning percentage in league history.
In between his coaching stints in the NBA and NBA Development league, Musselman served as a color commentator for Comcast and Versus during the 2009-10 season, calling West Coast Conference and NBA Development League games, respectively. Musselman also served as a guest columnist for The New York Times, The Sporting News, basketballnews.com and Winning Hoops from 20072009.
Musselman is a graduate of the University of San Diego, where he was a three-time West Coast Athletic Conference all-academic team selection and co-captain. While at USD, Musselman helped guide the Toreros to two NCAA Tournament appearances.
In 2006 the Los Angeles Lakers became the first NBA franchise in history to own an NBA Development League team when it formed the Los Angeles D-Fenders. After a one-year hiatus, the D-Fenders will return to the NBA Development League for the 2011-12 season. The Los Angeles D-Fenders, who will open up their season in November, will play their home games at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, CA.