Sparks hire Mr. Mean to 'bring toughness to the big people'

Updated: January 10, 2008, 3:19 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Sparks hired former NBA player Larry Smith as an assistant coach Thursday.

Nicknamed "Mr. Mean" for his tenacious rebounding style, Smith played nine seasons with Golden State from 1980-89, three seasons in Houston and one with San Antonio. He averaged 6.7 points and 9.2 rebounds in his career.

"What Larry will bring to the coaching staff is knowledge of the game from a big man's point of view," coach Michael Cooper said. "For the team, Mr. Mean will bring toughness to the big people."

Smith spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach with the Rockets, helping them win consecutive NBA titles in 1994 and '95. He spent one season each as an assistant for Atlanta and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Smith was also Cooper's assistant in Albuquerque when the Thunderbirds won the 2005-06 NBA Development League championship. He was head coach of the Anaheim Arsenal and assistant coach for the Austin Toros during the 2006-07 NBDL season.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press