When Luke Walton shifted from his role as an assistant coach with the Warriors to head coach of the Lakers, an adjustment period was expected. ESPN’s Baxter Holmes recently profiled the transition that Walton has undergone in California, adjusting not only to a new routine and staff but an entirely new culture.
“Really, it shifts your entire life because your daily routine is so much different from the stress and the grind and the everything,” Walton told him as the Lakers look back on a 20-49 record, “I do my best to stay in the right frame of mind.”
Walton adds that there have been plenty of sleepless nights but remains optimistic about the young Lakers roster and about coaching in general.
“The job itself is still the same,” he says now amid the ongoing Lakers rebuild. “It’s rewarding. It’s exciting. Now we’re competing for different things there and here, but the competition level is right there from the daily practices to the games.”
There’s more out of the Pacific Division:
- In an effort to open up communication across all levels of the organization Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and new general manager Rob Pelinka have been meeting with players at practice. “It’s good for us being able to talk to them and pick their brains as well and having that open-door presence,” Jordan Clarkson told Mark Media of the Los Angeles Daily News.
- Current franchise president Jeanie Buss has asked her brothers for permanent assurances that they’ll vote for her to remain the controlling owner of the Lakers, writes Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, as well as to remain on the board of directors.
- Veteran guard Jamal Crawford recently spoke with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype about the trade rumors that popped up with his name in them prior to the trade deadline. “It was a little bit frustrating. You hate to hear it, and this time was a little bit different since I had just re-signed [with the Clippers on a three-year contract] this past summer. […] For me, I’m just glad it’s over with and we’re just moving forward.“
- The Warriors were left with a lack of depth after signing Kevin Durant in the offseason and Marcus Thompson II of the Mercury News speculates that Omri Casspi, Mario Chalmers and Jimmer Fredette could be options to help bolster the roster as the playoffs near. That, of course, begs the question of who the team would need to cut if they made an addition.