With the coaching search in full swing, the Los Angeles Lakers have been exploring all their options with plenty of coaching candidates rumored to be interested in the vacancy. Luke Walton has emerged as the fan favorite and quite possibly the team’s top target in the coaching search.
Although Walton is potentially at the top of a list coaching candidates for the Lakers, there’s been no indication whether he’s seriously considering leaving the Golden State Warriors to return to Los Angeles for a rebuilding project.
Bill Walton, NBA legend and father of the Warriors assistant coach, recently chimed in on whether his son should leave the Warriors for a chance to be the head coach of the Lakers. The one-time NBA champion thinks Luke should stay put in a recent interview with Joe Farris of KTVK 3TV:
“Stay where he is,” Walton said about his son’s pending decision. “Head coaching jobs are open for a reason. What he has right now, it doesn’t get any better than that. Money cannot buy what they have on the Warriors right now. I’ve been on some of the most special teams in the history of basketball. UCLA, Portland, and the Celtics. I have seen the other end of the spectrum too, and so I know.”
The Lakers were granted permission by the Warriors this week to speak with Walton about the coaching vacancy in Los Angeles. Walton is one of many candidates that will likely interview for the job, but it he is interested and ready to sign on the dotted line, the coaching search could end quickly.
It was recently reported that Walton may be on a short list of candidates for the Lakers which also includes Ettore Messina of the San Antonio Spurs. If Walton passes, and that could very well be the case, Messina might jump to the top of the list.
Other candidates linked to the Lakers coaching job in one form or another are David Blatt, Kevin Ollie, Mark Jackson, John Calipari, and Jeff Van Gundy. Messina, Walton, and Blatt are the only candidates expected to interview with the team thus far. That will change if the coaching search is drawn out longer than anticipated.