Los Angeles Lakers Hire Luke Walton; Will Take Over as Head Coach
The Los Angeles Lakers announced late Friday night that they had reached a multi-year agreement with Luke Walton to become their next head coach.
“We’re excited to bring Luke back to Los Angeles, where we feel he’s going to start an outstanding coaching career,” said general manager Mitch Kupchak. “He’s one of the brightest young coaching minds in the game, and we feel fortunate that he’ll be leading the on-court future of our team.”
Walton, an assistant for the Golden State Warriors and also played nine seasons for the Lakers, led the Warriors to a 39-4 record to begin the season.Walton was the Lakers’ first choice. Young Luke checks every box for the Lakers. He is home grown, young and a student of the game.
Walton filled in admirably for NBA’s Coach of the Year Steve Kerr, who missed the first few months of the season while recovering from complications from offseason back surgery. The Warriors began the season 24-0, the best start in NBA history.
Humble Beginnings For Luke Walton
Luke Walton played in the NBA for 10 seasons, averaging 4.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. He was on championship winning teams with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.
He started his coaching career during the NBA lockout in 2011 as an assistant with the University of Memphis. He then spent time in the NBA D-League with the Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2013. He has spent the past two seasons with the Warriors.
The Challenges Luke Walton Inherits
Luke Walton inherits a young roster filled with several potential cornerstones in D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson. His job will largely involve developing their young talent after a season spent celebrating Kobe Bryant’s career.
The Lakers will also have a high draft pick provided they finish in the top-three of the NBA draft lottery. Plus they’re flush with salary cap space this offseason, which was one of the reasons it was such an attractive position.
What’s Next for The Warriors?
This is a good problem the Warriors have, but a problem nonetheless. For the second consecutive year, the Warriors lose their top assistant and secondary offensive strategist. First, they lose Alvin Gentry to New Orleans. Now, Luke Walton is off to coach the Los Angeles Lakers.That leaves head coach Steve Kerr looking for another right-hand man. When Gentry left, he had Walton waiting in the wings. It might have been a bit sooner than expected, but he was being groomed for the role.
That leaves head coach Steve Kerr looking for another right-hand man. When Gentry left, he had Walton waiting in the wings. It might have been a bit sooner than expected, but he was being groomed for the role. Now, who could that right-hand man be?
Steve Nash? He’d be perfect, but no signs point to him being interested.
(Los Angeles Lakers Hire Luke Walton)