Lakers Coach Luke Walton Uses Non-Conventional Leadership Style
Lakers Video: D’angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram Reiterate Luke Walton’s Excitement In Practice
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers hired coach Luke Walton in hopes that he would be able to connect with the team’s young players and fast-track their development. The organization also needs to build a new culture, and that’s something that Walton hopes to establish as the foundation from which the Lakers will rebuild.

As the youngest coach in the league, Walton doesn’t employ the same leadership techniques as many coaches of the past. The classic locker room tirades, filled with projectile clipboards and inventive cursing, don’t happen here. Walton uses a more personal, player-friendly approach to motivate his team, drawing on his roots growing up with his self-described “hippie parents”. However, Lakers center Tarik Black cautioned to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times that we shouldn’t mistake Walton’s style for apathy:

“Don’t take the mild-mannered-ness, or the hippieish-ness if you want to say, for complacency like he just doesn’t care about what we do. No, he coaches us. He cares a lot about what we do. It’s not a complacent thing, it’s just making sure we’re always instilled with confidence.”

Walton’s approach is certainly different, but it appears to be working with his young team. Man to man, each of the young Lakers has expressed excitement for the new season, and there is a general air of optimism around them even though they aren’t considered to be a playoff contender. Larry Nance Jr. explained Walton’s relationship with the team, via Ganguli:

“Luke’s the kind of coach that like you just don’t want to disappoint,” Nance said. “It sounds weird saying, but it’s almost like a parent. They don’t have to yell or scream or anything like that but just the fear of disappointing them is enough to give it your all.”

While the Lakers only compiled a preseason record of two wins and six losses, the ultimate success or failure of the season will be measured by the development of the young players. Walton may not use conventional methods, but if he can continue to get the team to buy in the way they have so far, the Lakers will be firmly on the right path.

You May Also Like

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers NBA Highlights

The Lakers were back in action Monday night to take the Portland…

Paul George ‘Not Sure’ How Lakers Fans Will Receive Him But ‘Excited’ And Focused On Helping Thunder Get Win

Years before Paul George worked to facilitate a trade from the Indiana Pacers, speculation was already rampant that he one day would join his hometown Los Angeles…

Ron Artest Hopes to be Traded From Lakers

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Lakers’ starting forward Ron Artest hopes to…

Lakers Nation NBA Power Rankings: L.A. Continues To Fall In Standings And Rankings

As the NBA All-Star break approaches, there are NBA teams headed in different directions, but one thing that has remained certain since the beginning of the season…