The rebuilding process for the Los Angeles Lakers involves tremendous patience, as the young core continues to progress through highs and lows during the 2016-17 NBA season. Rookie head coach Luke Walton has his team fully invested, as the players attempt to evolve their games and get acclimated to the rigors of NBA competition.
The young core and Walton have gotten off to a phenomenal start, even from the get go. When Walton was announced as the 26th head coach in franchise history, players such as D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson were seen cheering on their new coach.
The young players then connected with Walton during the summer, choosing to perform their own version of “The Breakfast Club.” Whether it was the offseason or the regular season, the players have shown confidence in Walton and his abilities.
Lakers legend Magic Johnson understands a thing or two about team basketball and unselfishness. While leading ‘the Showtime Lakers,’ Johnson’s style of play allowed everyone to feed off one another.
Johnson addressed how Walton has faired thus far into his rookie season, complimenting the 36-year-old head coach on his ability to cater towards his roster, via Mark Medina of the O.C. Register:
“Luke has designed a really good offense to fit the talent that we have. Everybody can really flourish in his offense,” Johnson said. “He’s put a lot of trust in the young guys. For the young players, you can also see that they trust him.”
When owning a rebuilding franchise, the key lies in gaining experience. The Lakers have had many questionable losses this season, but Walton hopes his roster will continue to learn from their mistakes.
At times, the Lakers have put forth a promising roster that Walton feels can compete with any team in the NBA.
Walton’s coaching career has been heavily influenced by some of the all-time greats, admitting that he has based his style off Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, and Steve Kerr. With such vast knowledge to learn from, it is no wonder why Walton caught the limelight of the NBA upon their 10-10 start.
However, a young roster certainly has trials and tribulations, as the Lakers continue to fight each and every game. While that is certainly a sight to see compared to past years, Johnson and Walton both understand that Lakers’ fans are interested in seeing results.
Upon two horrible seasons that the franchise would like to forget, Walton is certainly pushing the Lakers in the right direction, with his team ready to run through a brick wall if need be.