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

Lakers News: Lakers Nation Reacts to Big Win Over Pacers

Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers for one…

Lakers News: Lonzo Ball Talks About Potentially Playing With Paul George, LeBron James In L.A.

The Los Angeles Lakers head into the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday with the franchise potentially set to make some drastic changes to go along with the recent move to trade away D’Angelo Russell…

Mitch Kupchak Q&A: Realistic Expectations For Lakers Future

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak addressed a small group of beat writers…

Lakers News: Pau Gasol Undergoes Successful Knee Procedure

Lakers forward Pau Gasol underwent a FAST (Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue)…