The Los Angeles Lakers announced Monday that 33-year-old Coby Karl, the son of veteran NBA head coach George Karl, will be the new coach of their NBA D-League affiliate team, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Karl began his coaching career last season as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks’ D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, after playing eight years professionally.
George Karl, then the coach of the Nuggets, greets his son Coby after the Lakers played Denver in January 2008. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard played for the D-Fenders during the 2007-08 season, appearing in 17 games. He has also appeared in games with the Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, while also playing overseas.
“It is an honor to be back with the Lakers organization, the team that gave me my first job and allowed me to realize my dream of playing in the NBA,” Karl said in a statement released by the team. “My goal going forward will be to foster an environment and culture that permits our players and staff to fulfill their dreams. Our pursuit will focus on excellence, both as individuals and as members of the Los Angeles D-Fenders organization.”
Like his father, Karl is a cancer survivor in addition to a coach. He was treated for thyroid cancer in 2006-07.
Karl replaces Casey Owens, who will join the Lakers’ staff as an assistant coach and advance scout.