This November, we know a lot of people are asking for your votes. All the major news outlets are offering their endorsement for President of the United States, and after much deliberation, Silver Screen and Roll has decided to humbly submit our choice to you.
Luke Walton should be our next president, and it’s not even close.
At 36-years old, Walton only just became old enough to accept the office, and technically he hasn’t run a campaign. But when you think about it, those are really positives. Walton is no career politician caught up by partisanship, and they say true leaders don’t seek power.
Walton also offers the type of pioneering vision and leadership the office needs, and he’s already demonstrated several reasons why he is the man to fix this country.
1. Walton has a history of quickly making things great again
Remember Walton’s interim head coaching stint with the Golden State Warriors? Of course you do. He may not have gotten official credit for the victories (something he made no fuss about, because true leaders know it’s not about them), but Walton led the team to a 39 wins in 43 games after ripping off 24 straight victories to start the season.
Now you may say anyone could’ve done that with that roster. They were the defending champions. To this, the only response is to look at the Warriors’ start this season. The team already has two losses in their first six games. Maybe it’s not so easy, huh?
This year Walton has Los Angeles off to a 4-3 start, giving them the sixth best overall record in the Western Conference. For comparison, it took the Lakers 18 (!) games to get their fourth win last season. How has Walton done it? Glad you asked.
2. He’ll build a wall (around the rim)
In case you forgot or purged it from your mind, the Lakers were an atrocious defensive team last season. The team ranked dead last in the NBA in defensive efficiency, giving up 109.3 points per 100 possessions while essentially escorting players to the rim like a secret service motoracade. This year under Walton, the team ranks 17th while giving up 103 points per 100 possessions.
Considering the personnel Walton has to work with, that’s pretty amazing. The team seems to have a much better idea of what the game plan is this year as well as where to help from, and it’s translated into the team staying staunch against quite a few potent offensive teams so far.
Perhaps the biggest endorsement of Walton is that he has Nick freaking Young convinced he’s the team’s designated defensive stopper, and that Jordan Clarkson is mad when he doesn’t get to take the toughest defensive assignments (via Mark Medina of the O.C. Register):
Walton liked Young’s defense so much that he chose him to guard Phoenix guard Devin Booker after he mostly scored his team-leading 39 points on 13-of-29 shooting against Lakers rookie forward Brandon Ingram. Though Walton said Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson “got upset” he did not have the initial assignment, the Lakers coach “absolutely 100 percent” loved his attitude.
Who needs defense spending when you can convince two of the Lakers’ worst defenders the last two years that they love guarding the other team’s best players?
But wait, the team’s defensive effectiveness and mindset aren’t the only thing Walton has improved:
3. Offensive change we can believe in
The Lakers offense last season was almost as bad as their defense, ranking 29th out of 30 NBA teams in offensive efficiency at just 98.6 points per 100 possessions. Through seven games against a tough schedule, the Lakers now rank 11th(!!!) in the NBA in that category while scoring 104.8 points per 100 possessions.
Walton has his players moving the ball, isolating on just 7.4 percent of their possessions as opposed to their league-high 10.6 percent last season. 17 percent of the team’s field goal attempts now come via spot-ups, as opposed to their league-low 14.6 percent in 2015-16.
That’s the type of relationship and compromise building we need from our leaders. The Lakers are buying in to Walton’s selfless culture, constantly looking to create for each other while backing each other up on defense, and all of this change has led to:
4. Sky-high approval numbers
Poll: How many of you approve of the job Luke Walton's has done so far?— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) November 7, 2016
So yeah, that was at 99 percent among the fans when it was originally posted:
Just as critical as the fan vote, Walton has the vote of those he works with as well. D’Angelo Russell and the rest of the young players have glowed about their new head coach at every opportunity, and he’s gotten buy-in from his veteran players as well:
Lou Williams said Luke Walton has a way of making the players feel like they’re his teammates, and want to “run through a wall for him.”— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 7, 2016
If that’s not a winning endorsement, I don’t know what is. Walton has completely and utterly changed the culture of the Lakers in just a few months, so imagine what he could do in the Oval Office.
This Tuesday, vote for change you can believe in. Vote for Luke Walton.
The preceding article is satire, obviously Walton will wait to run until 2020. All stats per NBA.com. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at@hmfaigen. For more on Walton’s campaign, listen to to our latest episode below: