With the Los Angeles Lakers officially signing their new head coach in Luke Walton following the 2015-16 regular season, there’s been speculation as to how long it will take before the team is looked at as a competitor in this league. Though his coaching career has been brief, Walton has already proved himself capable of leading an NBA squad.
After Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr needed time off to recover from back surgery, Walton took over as interim head coach for a majority of the season leading them to a 24-0 start, which put them on course for the best single-season record in NBA history. Aside from Walton’s laidback demeanor, Warriors GM Bob Myers commented on Luke’s competitiveness via Bill Oram of the OC Register.
“He’s really one of the biggest competitors I’ve been around,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers says, “and also one that’s been able to calibrate appropriately the place that basketball has in our lives.”
Despite Kerr being awarded NBA Coach of the Year, Walton deserved some recognition as he finished tied for eighth in the voting. As a result, Walton had quite a few suitors with coaching vacancies when he expressed his interest in taking over full-time as the head man in charge.
As a three-time NBA champion, one as an assistant coach at Golden State and two as a player with the Lakers, it should come as no surprise that Walton brings his own brand of competitiveness. After all, he did spend 11 years playing with arguably one the greatest competitor of all time in Kobe Bryant. Now he finds himself one game away from returning to Los Angeles with yet another championship under his belt in a coaching capacity.