The increased positive vibes around the Los Angeles Lakers have been well covered throughout training camp and the preseason. Players have raved about each other, but arguably more importantly, players have endlessly appreciated the coaching staff.
It’s no secret that D’Angelo Russell didn’t exactly gel with the last coaching staff, but he says that he and Walton “communicate on and off the court as much as possible.” Nick Young has credited Walton for his shocking resurgence as part of the Lakers’ rotation, saying “it helps when you have a coach that will talk to you... prepare you, try to help you.”
Tarik Black, who was infamously buried at the end of the bench last year but has broken out this preseason, called Walton’s hiring “a blessing from God.”
So why does everyone love playing for Luke? Alysha Tsuji of USA Today’s For the Win asked Larry Nance Jr. about that during his appearance at a Mountain Dew three-on-three basketball tournament in Los Angeles today:
Talked to Larry Nance Jr. at the Dew NBA 3X event in SaMo. Here's what he said about what he likes about Luke Walton and an example of that: pic.twitter.com/9LnTNN5PZ5— Alysha Tsuji (@AlyshaTsuji) October 24, 2016
Walton has endlessly praised his players, but he’s also admitted to being a fiery competitor, so it’s not surprise to hear that he went to bat for his players with the refs during their game. Still, seeing Nance Jr. describe Walton as the type of person “you don’t want to disappoint” does continue to reinforce the idea that the Lakers picked the perfect coach to help develop their young core moving forward.
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