Even though the Los Angeles Lakers struggled mightily in the month of December, the team is still in a much better position than the previous three seasons. Possibly the biggest reason for that is new coach Luke Walton.
Walton has come in and established a new culture for the franchise and these young players, something that GM Mitch Kupchak loves.
In an interview with Mark Medina of the OC Register, Kupchak acknowledged the culture that Walton wants to develop and believes that he has done a great job:
“I don’t want to get into comparing last year and this year, but Luke has come in with a strong feel for what culture he wants to develop,” Kupchak said. “I think he’s done a wonderful job.”
So far every player seems to have completely bought in to everything Walton is saying, but Kupchak believes that there will come a time when that isn’t the case:
“There’s going to be rough spots where there are players that don’t agree with him,” Kupchak said of Walton. “But he’s going to learn game to game, season to season how to become a better coach.”
In the same way that certain players have had moments and games where they haven’t been their best, Walton has also had some decisions that will be questioned. He is the youngest coach in the NBA and he is learning on the job. Nonetheless, he has done an excellent job getting the team to buy in, even if the results haven’t been ideal in the last month.
The Lakers haven’t dealt with adversity very well so far and Walton will have to figure out how to get this team back on track. Kupchak likes the young talent on this team, even though he and the staff have to push them at times. Walton is trying to mold them into a perennial contender and it might take some time, but Walton is the right guy for the job.