Del Harris, coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, said Tuesday that Mike Dunleavy, his former assistant who was named Laker coach Monday, is ready for the job despite his lack of NBA head coaching experience.
“Mike is a bright guy, and I gave him a lot of freedom of expression here,” Harris said. “I’ve been associated with him since 1977, when he was a player and assistant coach.
“He will develop--and has (developed)--his own ideas as well as assimilate the things he learned from Nellie (Don Nelson) and me and from playing. He’s willing to take responsibility. He will allow players to play, but when the tough decision time comes, he’s not afraid to take the ball in his own hands. As a player, he was not afraid to take the last shot, and as a coach, he can make the tough call.”
Harris said that this season Dunleavy alternated setting the Bucks’ game plans with Frank Hamblen, the Bucks’ top assistant.
“I think you’re dealing with a special guy,” Harris said of Dunleavy. “He’s a bright and astute person. It’s a tough task with the Lakers, but he is equal to the challenge.”