LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Lakers finished training camp on Sunday, October 2 wrapping up a six-day stretch in Santa Barbara that had much to do with newly minted head coach Luke Walton, establishing a positive new culture in his young team.
Walton hopes to bring joy back to the Laker locker room, most notably by playing players favorite music during practice. The rookie head coach explained his reasoning in Santa Barbara on media day. “Growing up I always loved playing basketball with music on. And when I got to Golden State it’s something that Steve Kerr put in up there and the players, you could see a little bounce in their step when we had music going. It’s something I enjoyed as a player and I saw it work with the team so it’s something we brought down here,” said Walton.
Despite the rumors surrounding last years fractured locker room, the young core is closer than ever following training camp. This can be attested to a summer of voluntary, player organized practices, led by second year players D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr. and third year forward Julius Randle. Veterans Lou Williams and Nick Young remain with the team, acting as confident mentors for the inexperienced Lakers.
Los Angeles will begin their pre-season on Tuesday, October 4, against the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento boasts the emotional and superbly talented DeMarcus Cousins, who looks to lead the Kings to their first playoff run since 2006. The two teams will face off twice in the pre-season before meeting four times in the regular season.