The Los Angeles Lakers are "close" to hiring Kurt Rambis for their coaching staff, a source with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday.

Rambis, an ESPN analyst, has been an assistant coach with the Lakers on and off between 1999 and 2009; he was the lead assistant from 2001-04 and 2005-09. He has eight championship rings as a player, coach and front office executive.

In 2009, he left to become coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, but was fired after just two seasons with the rebuilding club. His return to the Lakers is seen as a stabilizing force because of his experience and institutional knowledge of the franchise.