When the Los Angeles Lakers announced that ex-Laker Luke Walton would be replacing ousted head coach Byron Scott, it was clear that the franchise was looking for a change. The team finished with just 17 wins during the 2015-2016 season, which was a low mark for the once-great franchise.
However, Walton would not be the only new face being added to the bench. Some of the new editions include another former-Laker, Brian Shaw, signed on to be Walton’s lead assistant. Jesse Murmuys, who had coached the Toronto Raptors D-League squad, signed on as well.
Now, it appears that Walton has added former D-Fenders head coach Casey Owens to his staff as an assistant coach and advance scout, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report:
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) August 18, 2016
Owens spent last season molding the D-Fenders into a dangerous team, and they managed to make it all the way to the D-League Finals. While they weren’t successful in bringing home a championship, D-Fenders players often spoke highly of Owens and his skill as a coach.
Owens was involved in coaching the Lakers Summer League team along with Murmuys, and at one point even served as Walton’s boss when Luke was just getting his feet wet in coaching and served as an assistant with the D-Fenders.
After two seasons under Scott, the young Lakers appear to be ecstatic about working with a new coaching staff. D’Angelo Russell took to Twitter to express his excitement, and multiple other players have echoed his sentiments.
The Lakers still aren’t predicted to win many games next season, but at the very least Walton and his staff should help bring a more exciting style of play, which is something both fans and players will look forward to.
With Owens leaving the D-Fenders, it has been reported that Coby Karl, a former Laker, and son of coaching legend George Karl, will take the helm.