Clippers assistant coach Rex Kalamian joining Kings staff

Rex Kalamian calls out instructions to Clippers players during a game in 2018.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

Rex Kalamian, a Clippers assistant for the last two seasons, is joining Sacramento as an assistant on coach Luke Walton’s bench, the Kings announced Thursday.

Kalamian, who previously worked with the Kings from 2007 to 2009, will be part of a staff that added former New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry this offseason.

“I’m excited to add Rex’s experience and perspective to the team,” said Walton, the former Lakers coach, in a release. “His nearly 30 years in the league will benefit our group and I look forward to working with him.”

Kalamian is the latest Clippers staffer to find a home elsewhere following Doc Rivers’ ouster as Clippers coach in September. Since being hired by Philadelphia in October, Rivers has hired former Clippers assistant Sam Cassell; Pete Dominguez, previously the Clippers’ head video coordinator; and Brian Adams, the coach of the Clippers’ G League affiliate whose ties with Rivers go back more than a decade, to their time in Boston.


Kalamian’s NBA coaching career began with the Clippers under Bill Fitch in the late 1990s, and he returned to the franchise in 2018 as defensive coordinator after long stays with Oklahoma City and Toronto. The Clippers finished 19th in defensive rating during his first season before improving to fifth in the most recent regular season.

After adding All-Star forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, perennial members of the league’s all-defense team, in the 2019 offseason, the Clippers’ starting lineup ranked as one of the stingiest in the postseason, allowing 95 points per 100 possessions in 13 playoff games — with the catch that the unit was rarely able to sustain such play because injuries and foul trouble limited their time together.

The NBA Players’ Association agreed to starting the 2020-2021 season on Dec. 22 which would save the NBA more than $500 million in revenue.

After the Clippers lost in the postseason’s second round despite building a 3-1 series lead, the team ousted Rivers after seven seasons and promoted assistant Tyronn Lue following a three-week coaching search.

Some of Lue’s new assistants are already in place, such as former Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson, Miami assistant Dan Craig and Cleveland assistant Larry Drew, but his staff has yet to be fully hired. Although a few members of Rivers’ staff are considered likely to stay with the Clippers, Lue is expected to lead what will be largely a new group of assistants.