EL SEGUNDO—Luke Walton has been named the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers replacing Byron Scott. The purple and gold suffered their worst season ever, a pitiful 17-65 record.
“I’m happy to return to the team that drafted me, this is my home,” said Walton. Reffering to his nine seasons he spent with the Lakers, from 2003-2012. After retiring, he became an assistant coach for the LA D-Fenders, the Lakers development team.
His father is NBA legend and sportscaster, Bill Walton. Although he was officially hired on April 29, Luke had to fulfill his commitment to his job as assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors. The team lost an agonizing Game 7 of the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
The Lakers eagerly pursued Walton, in part, due to his ability to connect with players and allow them to run freely up and down the court. He began the 2015-2016 season as interim head coach, while head coach Steve Kerr recovered from back surgery.
Many teams, facing such obstacles as begining the year without their familiar coach, and attempting to defend their title would flounder. Instead they flourished. Walton led the Warriors to a phenominal 24-0 start, and an overall 39-4 record when Kerr returned.
Lakers Nation hasn’t been this enthusiastic over a new coach since Phil Jackson. He brings a dynamic offense system that could produce tremendous results for the young Lakers core.
A backcourt featuring D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, and Forward Julius Randle have the chance to build a solid foundation for the future.
This future will be an entertaining, up-tempo and fun style of basketball. Perfect for Tinseltown.
“We’re going to play a brand of basketball that the LA fans will appreciate, we’re going to compete,” he said.
The NBA Draft is Thursday, June 23, the Lakers have the second overall pick. Its rumored they will select Brandon Ingram, a 6 foot and 9 inch Small Forward from Duke.
Welcome home Luke. Good luck and future success for Walton and our Lakers.