HBO’s ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty‘ season 2 takes viewers into the Los Angeles Lakers’ “Showtime” era’s founding stages as the NBA outfit struggles to capitalize on the success of the 1980 NBA Championship win. Kurt Rambis became an increasingly important part of the team as the Lakers reshaped their squad and playing style under Jerry Buss, Pat Riley, and Jerry West. As a result, viewers must be curious to learn when the Lakers signed Rambis and where the former basketball player is here these days. In that case, here is everything you need to know about his tenure with the Lakers!
When Did the Lakers Sign Kurt Rambis?
Darrell Kurt Rambis was born on February 25, 1958, in Terre Haute, Indiana. His family later moved to Cupertino, California, where he attended Cupertino High School and played for its basketball team. In 1976, Rambis joined Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. He graduated in 1980 and became the all-time leading scorer for the college’s basketball team. The New York Knicks picked Rambis as the 58th pick in the 1980 NBA draft, but he was ultimately waived off without making an appearance. He spent a year in the Greek League playing for AEK Athens under the name Kyriakos Rambidis.
Rambis returned to the United States in 1981 after he was resigned by the Knicks but left again without playing a single game. On September 13, 1981, the Los Angeles Lakers signed him during the 1981-82 NBA preseason. Rambis spent seven fruitful seasons with the LA Lakers, winning the NBA Championship for the first time in his career in 1982. He repeated the feat thrice in 1985, 1987, and 1988, becoming integral to the Lakers’ “Showtime” era under head coach Pat Riley.
Rambis was mostly a squad player, but his defensive and rebounding skills were instrumental to the team’s success. He also became a fan favorite among Lakers supporters because of his underdog status and unique appearance featuring a pair of trademark thick black-rimmed glasses. Interestingly, Rambis was nicknamed “Superman” for his resemblance to the comic book character Clark Kent.
Where is Kurt Rambis Now?
Kurt Rambis departed the LA Lakers at the start of the 1988-89 NBA season. His diminished playing time was reportedly one of the reasons for his departure from the Lakers. Rambis joined the Charlotte Hornets in 1988 and played for the Charlotte Hornets, Phoenix Suns, and Sacramento Kings between 1988 and 1993. Ahead of the 1993-1994 NBA season, he was resigned by the Lakers and spent two more years with his former team before retiring from professional basketball in 1995. Rambis played 880 games across his NBA playing career, scoring 4,603 points, 4,961 rebounds, and 931 assists. Furthermore, he won the NBA Championship four times during his career.
Rambis started working as an Assistant Coach with the LA Lakers during the 1994-1995 season. After briefly returning as a player, he resumed the assistant coaching job at the start of the 1995-96 season. Rambis continued in the position until 1999, when he was named the Interim Head Coach after Del Harris was fired. The Lakers reached the 1999 Western Conference Semifinals under him but lost to the San Antonio Spurs. Rambis was appointed the Lakers’ Assistant General Manager at the start of the following season, winning back-to-back NBA Championships in 2000 and 2001. He returned to the Assistant Coach role starting with the 2002-2002 NBA season.
Rambis left the Lakers in 2009 when he was appointed the Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach. He spent two seasons with the team but was fired on July 12, 2011, amidst poor performances. Rambis returned to the Lakers as an Assistant Coach for the 2013-14 season. On July 7, 2014, he was appointed Assistant Coach of the New York Knicks under Head Coach Derek Fisher. Rambis acted as the Interim Head Coach of the Knicks in 2016 and continued as an Assistant under Head Coach Jeff Hornacek before both were fired in 2018.
Rambis rejoined the Lakers as a Senior Basketball Advisor in September 2018. He won the 2020 NBA Championship with the Lakers and continues to serve as a Basketball Advisor. The former basketball star is married to Linda Rambis, the Lakers’ Executive Director of Special Projects. The couple has three children: Jesse, Jordan, and Ali Rambis. According to reports, Rambis lives with his family in El Segundo, California.