EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles D-Fenders have named Phil Hubbard as head coach, it was announced today by team President/CEO Joey Buss and General Manager Nick Mazzella.
Hubbard becomes the seventh head coach in team history, bringing more than 20 years of coaching and scouting experience at the NBA, NBA D-League and International levels to the D-Fenders. The Canton, Ohio native returns to the D-Fenders after serving as assistant coach for the team during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. Most recently, Hubbard served as an assistant coach for the Santa Cruz Warriors last season, guiding the team to an NBA D-League Finals appearance in addition to helping three players earn Gatorade NBA call-ups and assisting in developing five Golden State Warriors assignees.
“We are excited to announce Phil Hubbard as the head coach of the D-Fenders,” said Buss. “Phil is an NBA veteran, consummate professional and has decades of coaching experience. His passion for basketball will inspire our players to develop both on and off the court while competing for a championship.”
Hubbard’s two previous seasons with the D-Fenders were highlighted by a league record 38-win season in 2011-12 which was capped by a run to the NBA D-League Finals. Prior to his time with the D-Fenders, Hubbard’s inaugural season in the NBA D-League was spent as an assistant coach for the Reno Bighorns (2010-11). The University of Michigan alumnus has displayed a propensity for developing NBA-caliber players, totaling 11 Gatorade NBA call-ups and fostering 15 NBA assignees in his four years in the NBA D-League. Furthermore, Hubbard assisted in leading his team to the playoffs three times, including two finals appearances.
“During his previous tenure with the team, and throughout his career, Phil has proven to be exceptional at relating to players while preparing them for the next level,” said Mazzella. “Our team will benefit from his coaching acumen and experience as a professional athlete, as we continue to cultivate talent for the Lakers and the NBA.”
Previous to his work in the NBA D-League, Hubbard spent 12 seasons in the NBA as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks (1995-98), Golden State Warriors (1998-2003) and Washington Wizards (2003-09). Hubbard tallied seven playoff appearances as an NBA assistant, posting three with the Hawks and four-straight with the Wizards, the team’s first back-to-back playoff appearances since 1988. Originally, Hubbard broke into the NBA ranks as a college scout for the New York Knicks (1990-95). As well as having success domestically, Hubbard has also had a prosperous coaching career internationally in China and the Dominican Republic. Most notably, he led Caneros de la Romana, of the Dominican LNB, to the Division Championship in 2012 serving as the team’s head coach.
The 57-year old Hubbard also lays claim to a successful playing career, splitting his 10 years in the NBA between the Detroit Pistons (1979-82) and Cleveland Cavaliers (1982-89). Selected in the first round (15th selection) of the 1979 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, Hubbard averaged 10.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists over his 665 games played. Also a decorated collegiate athlete, Hubbard played three seasons for the Michigan Wolverines (1976-79), helping the team reach the NCAA Championship game in his freshman campaign (1976). Known for his rebounding prowess, Hubbard ranks first in double-doubles in a season (24), first in consecutive double-doubles (14), first in rebounds in a season (389), second in career double-doubles (53), fourth in career rebounds (979) and fourth in career rebounding average (11.1) in school history. A consensus second team All-American in 1977, Hubbard was also a member of the 1976 USA Men’s Basketball team, with current Los Angeles Lakers’ General Manager Mitch Kupchak, which won the Olympic gold medal in Montreal. In 2004, Michigan honored Hubbard by hanging his number 35 jersey in the rafters, joining four other Wolverines who have had their contributions recognized by the University.