After a whirlwind season that included a 39-4 stint as interim head coach, an NBA record setting 73 wins, two consecutive seven game playoff series, the latter of which ended in heartbreaking defeat, Luke Walton could have been excused if he wanted to rest a little bit before totally jumping in as Lakers head coach. According to Walton’s friend (and Time Warner Cable Sportsnet anchor) Chris McGee, that’s not exactly what happened.
“Luke has been in that office or the gym every single day. I think he's had one day off since game seven [of the NBA Finals]," said McGee in an appearance on “The Popcorn Machine” with Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com. McGee noted that the only day he was certain Walton had taken off was the day his daughter was born.
"He's had maybe two or three days off literally since game seven. The day after game seven, he... drove from Norcal to SoCal, the morning after game seven, because you don't sleep after you lose game seven like that,” McGee continued. “They're up the next morning, they're driving back to L.A., and the day after that he's being introduced at the press conference, and then he's off to work, man.”
Walton’s heavy workload does make sense to some degree. He was unable to do many of the traditional duties of a head coach while finishing out his time as an assistant with Golden State, so Walton was always going to have to play a bit of catch-up when he officially got started as Lakers head coach. The team had the draft to prepare for, and then free agency, followed by many of the young Lakers returning to the facility to work with Walton and his staff before and after Las Vegas Summer League.
It sounds like it’s been a busy summer for Walton, but his taking on such a heavy workload is an encouraging sign that he’s willing to put in the time necessary to help improve his young team.
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