Coby Karl was once an undrafted free agent for the Lakers in 2007. The son of former NBA head coach George Karl never really found his niche in the NBA. After being in and out of the NBA, D League, and overseas, Coby Karl finally called it quits in 2015. It was announced today by Shams Charania that he would be the Los Angeles Defenders head coach for this coming season.
Sources: Lakers are hiring Coby Karl, son of George Karl, as head coach of the L.A. D-Fenders in D-League. Karl was Westchester assistant.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 17, 2016
Coby Karl has been through quite a bit in his life. After dealing with his father’s battle with prostate cancer, Coby Karl himself dealt with two bouts of cancer. In 2006, he had his thyroid removed, and in 2007, he had more cancerous lymph nodes removed from the thyroid area. Shortly after that, the Lakers signed him to a 1 year deal. He mostly spent his time in the D-League, being called up a few times throughout the season. Coby Karl did make an appearance in the 2008 Playoffs against Denver. This was the first time that a father and son faced each other in a playoff series.
What happens to Casey Owens?
The coach he is replacing is Casey Owens. This is worrisome for some because Owens is certainly a fan favorite, especially after leading the Los Angeles D-Fenders to the D-League finals. His offense was a thousand times better than Byron’s, which caused more discord with Byron among avid fans. Fans likely shouldn’t worry, because it looks like he will be joining Luke Walton’s bench as an assistant. Casey Owens certainly deserves it, and would be a welcome addition. He was the lead assistant under Jesse Mermuys during the Summer League.
Coby Karl will likely be a solid coach in this league and this is always a good start. Casey Owens looks like he is already on his way up the food chain. Overall, the Lakers continue to change the culture of the organization for the better. Note that Coby Karl and Luke were teammates in 2007-2008, so they know each other very well.
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