The Clippers lost three assistants this offseason, as Kenny Atkinson got a promotion to co-lead assistant in Golden State, and Chauncey Billups became the head coach in Portland, taking Roy Rogers with him.
In their stead, the Clippers recruited another talented group of assistants to help lead the franchise in the 2021-22 season.
Brian Shaw’s hiring was reported back in July, and his ties to Ty Lue and Paul George date back decades. He’s a like-for-like replacement for Billups. The team also confirmed the hire of Jay Larranaga, who spent the last nine seasons as an assistant in Boston, meaning he overlapped with Lue on the Celtics for one year.
Shaun Fein will be heading up the player development program in Atkinson’s place, as Fein earns a promotion to full-fledged assistant coach. The Clippers have also added two more player development assistants to Fein’s staff: Wesley Johnson and Cookie Belcher.
Johnson is well-known to Clippers fans. He spent three of his nine NBA seasons with the Clippers, making his only two trips to the playoffs with this franchise. He began his coaching career this summer with the Toronto Raptors and now returns to Los Angeles. Belcher is a former college teammate of Lue who has coached for the past eight years at IMG Academy.
Ty Lue needs to hire Cookie Belcher... that dude played left handed for 5 games cause his right was broke. Tough hombre, Mexico Missouri duo... put him on staff @HuskerHoops— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) October 15, 2020
The Clippers are also adding a new senior performance physical therapist, Jesse Phillips, who was with the Wizards medical staff for the last five seasons. Phillips has deep L.A. roots. He got his doctorate of physical therapy and completed his sports physical therapy residency at USC. He also worked as a physical therapist for the Los Angeles Sparks in 2013.
Sources: The Clippers have hired Jesse Phillips, who was on the Wizards’ medical staff the past five seasons. Phillips was most recently director of athletic performance and rehabilitation in DC and will hold a similar role with the Clippers.— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) September 25, 2021
The new coaching staff will get its first game action on Monday, Oct. 4 for the Clippers’ preseason opener.