One of the biggest tenets Luke Walton has emphasized during his tenure as Los Angeles Lakers head coach is competition. Whether against one another in practice or a real-game setting, Walton has regularly stressed the benefit of the Lakers embracing that.
It was said to be at the core of open gym games during the offseason, and thus far it’s carried into training camp. “The energy level has been great,” Walton said after a second day of practices.
“It was great again today. Our guys have been getting after it. It’s been a lot of fun. Solid day of practice.”
Considering the type of players the Lakers signed during the offseason, Walton said he wasn’t necessarily “surprised” by the roster. However, he also wasn’t certain what to expect from the collective group because of the number of new faces.
“All the new personnel, I don’t know any of these guys. Coming into the season, I didn’t know their practice habits,” he explained. “Are they talkers? Are they quiet? Do they see and anticipate well? All these type of things we’re getting to know. It’s been a very good couple days.
“There was a lot of unknown going into the season, so I’m very pleased with how hard we’re getting after it,” he said. “The communication, the competition level from all the different groups, has been as a coach, what you would want to see.”
Out of the competition will come Walton settling on a lineup around LeBron James and how to disseminate rotation minutes. Though, he’s made it clear those aren’t decisions he’s in a rush to make.