B/R Interview: Kurt Rambis Lays out Plan to Fix Los Angeles Lakers Defense

The word "if" popped up, time and again, during my conversation with Kurt Rambis, and not without reason.

Rambis recently returned to the Los Angeles Lakers as a member of Mike D'Antoni's staff. Rambis has previously served in a variety of roles for the Purple and Gold—from a begoggled role player with the Showtime Lakers to front office executive to coach (assistant and head) to broadcaster.

He'll be charged with helping to guide a team that, depending on how a number of proverbial chips fall, could be either a fun, exciting playoff participant or a miserable entrant into the NBA draft lottery.

To hear Rambis tell it, the range of possibilities is wide and very much dependent on health. Kobe Bryant's status is still up in the air as he continues his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon, while Pau Gasol and Steve Nash are on the mend from the most injury-plagued campaigns of their respective careers.

Healthy or not, defense will be key to keeping the Lakers afloat.

Among Rambis' many responsibilities will be improving a unit that ranked 19th in defensive efficiency (per NBA.com) and placed among the bottom eight in the league in defending isolations, pick-and-rolls and fast breaks (per Synergy Sports) in 2012-13.

How does Rambis plan to change that, now that Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace are gone? And what else does he see in store for the franchise to which nearly his entire career in basketball has been tied?

Read on to find out!

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