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Report: LA brings back Mike Penberthy as shooting coach

Mike Penberthy

The Los Angeles Lakers filled out their roster around LeBron James this summer in a far more logical manner than a year ago. When Kawhi Leonard rocked the basketball world midway through free agency by choosing his “other” hometown team and bringing Paul George along with him, there was an assumption the Lakers misplayed their hand. How could Rob Pelinka, choosing from such a shallow pool of available players, possibly surround James and Anthony Davis with a supporting cast that could come close to matching the one Leonard and George enjoy with the LA Clippers?

It’s overboard to suggest Pelinka accomplished that feat, but it’s also undeniably true the Lakers’ subsequent string of signings was more impressive than most assumed it would be. Los Angeles needed Danny Green. Quinn Cook is a perfect fit; same for Troy Daniels. DeMarcus Cousins was absolutely worth a one-year flier, especially given his prior experience playing with Davis. Avery Bradley and Jared Dudley are proven veterans who fill stylistic needs. Bringing back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, and even Rajon Rondo made sense.

A common theme among the Lakers’ outside signings? Competent three-point shooting, an attribute severely lacking in last summer’s acquisitions. But just because Los Angeles addressed its dire need for shooters doesn’t mean the team is satisfied.

According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the Lakers have hired Mike Penberthy as their new shooting coach.

Penberthy played 53 games with Los Angeles in 2000-01, scoring 5.0 points in 16.1 minutes per contest. Notably, he shot 39.6 percent on 2.6 three-point tries per game, an elite and, for the time, rare rate of attempts. Penberthy spent the 2018-19 as the New Orleans Pelicans’ shooting coach, and held the same role with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2014-15.

Shooters can always get better, and the Lakers’ aren’t exactly consistent marksman. We’ll see if being coached by Penberthy and playing with James and Davis helps them get there.