Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Nuggets name ex-Laker Cooper assistant coach

=== Nuggets name ex-Laker Cooper assistant coach ===

Denver, CO (Sports Network) – The Denver Nuggets hired Los Angeles Sparks head
coach Michael Cooper as an assistant on Tuesday.

Cooper had a stellar head-coaching run with the WNBA’s Sparks, as he guided
the team to a 116-31 regular-season record with four playoff appearances in
four-plus seasons.

The Sparks captured back-to-back WNBA Championships in 2001 and ’02 and also
made the Finals three consecutive seasons.

“We’re overjoyed to be able to add someone of Michael’s stature to our
coaching staff,” said Denver General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe. “He was a hard-
nosed defender as a player and he has won championships everywhere he has
been. We want to be a championship team, so it’s a perfect fit.”

Cooper, who spent his entire 12-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, was a
member of five NBA Championship teams that dominated the 1980’s.

Denver is hoping that Cooper can instill the same defensive intensity in a
young Nuggets squad that helped earn him eight NBA All Defensive Team
selections, including five First Team honors, when he was a player. Cooper’s
defensive skills and tenacity also earned him NBA Defensive Player of the Year
in 1987 as he helped guide Tinseltown to its second consecutive title.

“This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” said Cooper. “But,
I’m excited to be stepping into a coaching situation with an organization that
is fully committed to winning.”

Cooper is no stranger to coaching in the NBA, as he began his coaching career
in March of 1994, serving as an assistant coach with the Lakers under longtime
teammate Magic Johnson and later with Del Harris.