One of the biggest influences and mentors for Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton is Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, whom he served under as assistant coach for two years.
Walton remains close with Kerr and has spoken about calling him for advice on dealing with tough situations. This season has been a rough one for Walton as expectations have grown exponentially after the Lakers signed LeBron James this summer.
Additionally, the team has dealt with a multitude of injuries that continually kills the Lakers’ momentum, made it nearly impossible to build chemistry, and now has them on the brink of missing the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.
With a bevy of inconsistent performances and disappointing losses, Walton’s job security has come into question despite constant support from the front office. Kerr however, believes Walton has done a great job and is cut out to be Lakers head coach, via Mark Medina of The Mercury News:
“Part of your job as a coach is to operate smoothly within your own set of circumstances,” Kerr said. “That’s managing not only your own players, but managing the group of people around you and the front office, your assistant coaches and ownership. You really have to forge relationships with everybody. When that happens, that’s when you get the momentum you needed. Luke is the perfect guy to forge those relationships because he’s so easy going, smart and fun to be around. I have no doubt he’s cut out for this job.”
Walton has had a ton thrown on his plate. Trying to balance the heightened expectations while still developing the young players on his roster would be difficult enough for a young coach. Add in the constant lineup and rotation shuffling he has had to do because of the injuries suffered and his job has been beyond difficult.
But Walton has embraced all of the challenges that have come along this season and maintained a positive outlook. Whether he is ultimately the right coach for the Lakers remains to be seen, but he has done everything in his power to keep this team afloat despite all of the issues.
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