Lonnie Walker IV had a chance to reunite with his old teammates this week, going up against the San Antonio Spurs in Texas for the first time since joining the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers swept the Spurs in the back-to-back matchup — and Walker heavily contributed to L.A.’s success. The 23-year-old averaged 18.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals over the two games in San Antonio, shooting 53.8% from the field and 50% for 3.
After the Friday win, Walker said coming back to the place where he started his career made him emotional as the Spurs remain his “family.” The guard reiterated the sentiment on Saturday, although saying the two wins the Purple and Gold collected added to why he enjoyed being back, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It’s been a grateful type of a few days, you know, got to come back and reminisce, look back on good times, see my teammates, ball on my old teammates. You know, that’s my family. So, all in all, I will say it was great. And on top of that, we beat them three times — so I think that’s a win on my end, you know, playing with the new team. But you know, I love Coach Pop. He’s done a lot to me, a lot for me, and forever will be appreciative to it.”
The Spurs welcomed Walker with a touching video tribute on Friday in a nice gesture from his old team. However, the exchange of pleasantries stopped after the tip-off with the guard putting on another couple of fine performances to show once again he’s become a key part of head coach Darvin Ham’s rotation.
Walker averages career-high 17.1 points and 1.0 steals this season in addition to 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists, starting all of the 16 games he’s played in.
Anthony Davis envies Walker after Spurs’ heartwarming reception in return
Walker’s return to San Antonio has been a heartwarming one with both sides showing love for each other — even though they had parted ways in the summer. The atmosphere around the guard’s comeback was nothing like the reception Anthony Davis received from the New Orleans Pelicans when he visited his old team for the first time after joining the Lakers in 2019.
Particularly the tribute video, Davis said, is something he wishes he had gotten in his return to the Big Easy. “Obviously first time back at home, probably a little emotional, they gave him a tribute,” the forward said.
“Wish I had one of those. But it’s good to play back in your old team’s city. And played well, and get a win… It’s good that they give him a tribute and celebrated him tonight.”
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