The future of Luke Walton with the Lakers

Times are kind of hard for the young coach, as his team is on the 11th place with no chance to get into the playoffs. If we look back at the beginning of the season, the expectancies for the Lakers were very high, people were talking about whether they will get to the Western Conference Finals or even in the Finals, and all that because of the addition of LeBron James. Even though they are where they are now, Walton could use some excuses in his defense, because the Los Angeles based team was on the 4th place before LeBron got injured, and they were playing strong defense, being top 10 in defensive rating by then. After Christmas Day, things got uglier for the Lakers, but this can’t be put all on Luke Walton. Lonzo Ball, who is also a very good defender on his position, got injured multiple times and this was also a hit for the team. Brandon Ingram started to actually play just after the trade rumors, as it could be clearly seen that he wanted to prove the ones who wanted to trade him wrong.

Luke Walton can be used as a scape goat for the Lakers failure this year and he can be replaced in this summer, but this is clearly not only his fault. The fact that he is pretty young and less experienced as a coach or former player can be a factor, though, in how much he can impose in front of players like James, who all know that throughout his career he didn’t listen to what his coaches would say. Luke is currently in his third year with the Lakers as a head coach. He was hired before the 2016-17 season, after he was an assistant coach for the Warriors. During his time in Golden State, he managed to get a streak of 24 consecutive wins, serving as a head coach in that period when Steve Kerr was out for some time because of his back problems. That moment represented a “launching pad” for his coaching career and it played a huge part in getting a head coaching job in Los Angeles.

Returning back to the present, he said in an interview earlier this month that he expects to come back as a head coach for the Lakers next season, and Jeanie Buss confirmed the idea of him staying, but in the same time, she said that she will let Magic to decide, so Luke’s spot isn’t 100% safe. Rumors were saying that Jason Kidd can be a strong candidate for this job if Walton will be fired. If we take a look at Kidd’s resume as a coach, we see that he has a record of 183-190 in five years of activity, while coaching Brooklyn Nets in his first season as a coach and then 4 years with the Milwaukee Bucks. He has 3 winning record seasons and 3 Coach of the Month awards, two from the 2013-14 season and one from 2016-17, but he didn’t make too much noise in the playoffs, this being the number one reason for his departure from the Bucks. So, we can see that he didn’t do a lot in the early stages of his coaching career, and if the Lakers will decide to take him as their head coach, it will be a gamble just as it was with Luke Walton. The only difference between them was that Kidd was a Hall of Famer and a man who is highly respected throughout the players, because of his achievements and his balling skills as a player.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *