Dane Johnson Named New Head Coach Of G League Affiliate South Bay Lakers
(Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers’ G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, have named Dane Johnson as head coach going into the 2023-24 season. Johnson replaces Miles Simon, who was hired by the Phoenix Suns after spending the last two years as South Bay head coach.

Johnson has been with the organization for the last six seasons and was the associate head coach under Simon last year. South Bay Lakers President and CEO Joey Buss made the announcement and believes Johnson will continue developing talent for the Lakers organization while maintaining the established culture.

“Dane has developed many coaching attributes over the last seven years with this organization,” Buss said. “We are excited to see his growth in becoming our next head coach. He has a key understanding of our culture and goal of winning a championship while developing high-level talent for the NBA.”

Johnson, who played collegiately at Portland State University, is looking forward to building on South Bay’s success over the past couple of seasons.

“It is an honor to be named the new head coach of this organization,” Johnson said. “My goal moving forward will be to continue building on the successes we’ve had over the past couple years, while striving to take that next step to a championship in collaboration with the Lakers organization. Our pursuit will focus on excellence, both as individuals and as members of the South Bay Lakers organization.”

South Bay has gone 21-11 in each of the past two seasons and traditionally has played a huge role in getting Lakers players prepared to contribute at the NBA level.

Coaching in the G League requires a balance not only trying to win, but aligning with the needs of the parent club, particularly in the development of certain players in order to have the necessary skills at the next level. South Bay Lakers general manager Nick Mazzella believes Johnson will be able to do just that.

“Dane’s impact with South Bay has led to the team’s success while directly helping players realize their dreams in the NBA,” Mazzella said. “We are confident in his ability to implement Coach (Darvin) Ham’s principles and create emphasis on developing our players on and off the court.”

In addition to his time as an assistant with south Bay, Johnson has also been an assistant for the Lakers’ Summer League team, including the 2017 squad that took home the championship in Las Vegas.

Darvin Ham looking forward to Lakers’ depth coming together

The South Bay Lakers will surely have many players who the main franchise will be keeping an eye on, not only with the team’s two-way players, but also the Lakers’ draft picks could be spending a lot of time in the G League as the depth on the Lakers is excellent.

Head coach Darvin Ham recently spoke on this, saying that he can’t wait for all of the talent and depth to come together, adding that the team that is most together and willing to sacrifice often winds up on top at the end of the year.

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