In what has already been a whirlwind of change in the Lakers’ front office, more positions have been vacated over the last couple of weeks. Tim DiFrancesco, the Lakers very popular strength and conditioning coach, resigned earlier this month after six seasons with the team. He has been widely praised for his work with the young core and their “Breakfast Club” group that met in early morning workouts. Assistant strength and conditioning coach Sean Light, who was hired for that role in 2016, will also make his exit. Each player was told in the exit interviews to come back in the best shape of their careers, so this is a puzzling move to me.
Player development also took a hit this month when director of player development Rondre Jackson was dismissed. The 2015-16 Dana Davis award winner for best player development work had spent the last ten years with the team, heading the player development department for the last two.
Tania Jolly, coordinator of basketball operations, was also let go. She had been a part of the organization for the last seven years.
Early in May, the Lakers’ department of analytics took a hit when Yuju Lee, the department’s director, resigned. According to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, he had been asked to take a demotion after four years of service with the club. The analytics department was lacking during Mitch Kupchak’s tenure, so hopefully this change doesn’t bring a fall back into old habits.
Many changes have been made and many more will likely come as we make it through the summer. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka must have many ideas to improve the front office with these changes. For Lakers fans, we can only wait and see. Bring on the draft lottery!