Less than a week after firing Byron Scott, the Los Angeles Lakers hired his replacement on Friday, with Luke Walton accepting a multi-year contract to become the team's next head coach. Walton's hiring came after he apparently nailed his first interview, and according to Golden State Warriors head coach and Walton's now former boss, Steve Kerr, the Lakers got the right guy.
"I'm incredibly happy for Luke," said Kerr in a statement (via Sean Highkin of Bleacher report). "As we witnessed earlier this season, he has all of the intangibles necessary to be an outstanding head coach in this league, including a terrific understanding of the game [and] the ability to communicate with a wide range of people. He's certainly ready for this opportunity and I'm confident he'll do a great job with the Lakers once our season is complete."
Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Meyers was similarly effusive in his praise for the Lakers' new head coach.
"We are thrilled for Luke. This is a tremendous opportunity for him to return home and serve as head coach for one of the most storied franchises in sports," said Meyers. "Luke has done an incredible job during his two-year stint with our team and has played a significant role in our success, including last year's championship and again this season under some very unique circumstances. We are certainly going to miss Luke after we conclude our playoff run this season, but we wish him the very best with the Lakers."
One of the most promising bullet points on Walton's resume was the selfless culture he was a part of in Golden State, a positivity that is on display in his bosses' obvious pride in him for grabbing a head coaching job of his own after just two years as an NBA assistant. That type of attitude has been absent around the Lakers for the last several years, and if Walton can bring some of the Warrior's joy with him to Los Angeles he'll be well on his way to aiding the Lakers on their road back to respectability.
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