Los Angeles Lakers Hire Luke Walton As Head Coach

Los Angeles Lakers Hire Luke Walton As Head Coach

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Luke Walton has agreed to be the Los Angeles Lakers’ new head coach, with the sides agreeing to a multiyear deal Friday, the team said.

Walton spent nine seasons with the Lakers, winning two championship rings as a smart, steady contributor. Three years after his retirement, the 36-year-old Southern California native is back to become the 26th coach in franchise history.

Walton has been serving as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors, who granted him permission to interview with the Lakers after their first-round Western Conference playoff series against the Houston Rockets concluded Wednesday.

“I loved everything about my time at Golden State and learning from Steve [Kerr],” Walton told ESPN. “I’ll forever be grateful to him, the organization and the team. But I have always dreamed of being a head coach and the chance to do that for an organization like the Lakers doesn’t come around very often.”

A source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that Walton was the Lakers’ first choice and the only candidate they interviewed. They had other meetings lined up but canceled them after Thursday’s interview with Walton in Oakland, California.

“We’re excited to bring Luke back to Los Angeles, where we feel he’s going to start an outstanding coaching career,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a release. “He’s one of the brightest young coaching minds in the game, and we feel fortunate that he’ll be leading the on-court future of our team.”

The 36-year-old had become a hot coaching commodity after ‎posting a 39-4 record — including a record 24-0 start — as the Warriors’ interim coach this season while Kerr was recovering from complications stemming from two offseason back surgeries.

Source: ESPN

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