Prior to the 2016-17 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers hired head coach Luke Walton to grow with the young core and provide stability.
While Walton and the Lakers made great strides in their first two seasons together, LeBron James signing in free agency changed expectations.
Although Walton coached the entire 2018-19 season, it was evident early on he was not going to be a part of the team’s long-term plans.
“In the NBA you are 100 percent dependent on your circumstances, the strength of your organization, the momentum, the unity, everything has to be in good order,” Kerr said. “Because if it’s not, as we’ve witnessed with the Lakers, there’s going to be casualties and usually the coach is the first one.
“They’re losing one of the best human beings in the NBA. They’re losing a guy who knows the game as good as anybody I’ve ever met. They’re losing somebody who players believe in, players want to play for.”
Walton joined Kerr’s coaching staff prior to the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach. And when Kerr took an indefinite leave of absence, Walton became the interim head coach and led them to a 39-4 start, the second-best in NBA history.
While there are debates about Walton’s coaching, the Kings will provide him an opportunity similar to the one he initially had with the Lakers. As the Kings are not the most stable franchise in the league, the hope is Walton gets enough time to develop their young core.