Wildcat legend Miles Simon gains valuable head coaching experience with Lakers in Summer League

David Skinner | The Daily Wildcat Los Angeles Lakers head coach Miles Simon claps on the sidelines during a Summer League game against the Philadelphia 76ers on July 7, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

LAS VEGAS -- The Lute Olson coaching tree just grew one branch larger this summer as Miles Simon made his fourth official coaching appearance for the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night in Las Vegas. 

The Lakers took part in the California Classic Summer League mini-camp earlier this month, allowing Arizona's 1997 Final Four MVP to get his feet wet before taking on all-comers in Las Vegas where every NBA team is out to capture the Summer League championship. The same championship the Lakers won last summer, coached by fellow Arizona Wildcat alumnus and current New York Knicks assistant coach Jud Buechler. 

With the Thomas & Mack Center being flooded with NBA executives and influential front office suits, Simon’s opportunity to show the rest of the league that he has the ability to be able to not only lead a group of talented young professionals but draw up successful schemes and plays that will be able to translate to regular season NBA basketball.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Miles Simon shrugs his shoulders on the sidelines during a Summer League game against the Philadelphia 76ers on July 7, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

In a league that already has multiple former decorated Arizona basketball players leading their teams to success like Steve Kerr and Luke Walton, Simon would be a welcomed addition to the growing head coaching fraternity that seems to be forming with former Lute Olson players.

With Thomas & Mack Center taking place as Staples Center East, the Lakers had no problem with the Philadelphia 76ers as they get off on the right foot and started their Las Vegas portion of Summer League off right where they left off last summer: with another routine win for the purple and gold.

Through his first couple of games, the lessons that Simon has learned has been abundant to say the least.

“All of the lessons are probably too much to say in this short setting, but one, managing everything that goes along, from the staff, to the players, to picking what time the bus is picking us up,” Simon said.

“Making sure my ATO’s (after time out plays) are right, and getting my substitution patterns right, there is a lot that goes into it. It's truly been a great experience and probably the best learning experience of my coaching career so far.”

With the lessons he learns on a day-to-day basis, the former Wildcat isn’t far off from making his temporary gig a permanent one.

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