The lure of Luke Walton coaching the Lakers seems poetic given his close connection to the franchise. So does remaining part of the Golden State Warriors’ coaching staff as they aim to defend their NBA championship after setting a record for most regular-season wins in league history.
Before Walton likely interviews for the Lakers’ head-coaching vacancy soon, his father provided honest commentary that for once does not follow with a laugh track.
“Stay where he is. Head-coaching jobs are open for a reason,” Walton told Tim Ring, the sports director of KTVK, in a recent interview. “What he has right now, it doesn’t get any better than that. Money cannot buy what they have on the Warriors right now.”
The Warriors have the defending NBA MVP (Stephen Curry), Finals MVP (Andre Iguodala), a sharp shooter (Klay Thompson) and versatile defender (Draymond Green). Golden State has Steve Kerr, a coach that is both collaborative with his coaching philosophies and his staff. Perhaps their only weakness involves whether Curry can fully recover from a grade 1 MCL sprain in his right ankle.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have missed three postseasons in consecutive years. They have finished with their worst record in franchise history. Their future looks enticing with a young core and nearly $60 million in cap space. Yet, the future also appears uncertain with an inexperienced roster and an imperfect working relationship between two siblings in Jeanie Buss (Lakers president) and Jim Buss (Lakers executive vice president of player personnel).
“I’ve been on some of the most special teams in the history of basketball,” said Bill Walton, who won two championships with UCLA (1972-73), one championship with the Portland Trail Blazers (1977) and one championship with the Boston Celtics (1986). “I’ve seen the other end of the spectrum too. So I know. It’s so fragile and it’s so tenuous. It’s like any young person chasing their dream in the world of entrepreneurship, start ups and everything. Don’t change jobs for money. Leave a job because it’s a bad job. If you have a good job and you’re in a great situation as Luke is, you got Steve Kerr, you got all these beautiful players and California and the Bay Area. That’s fantastic. With all that being said….”
Bill Walton trailed off, leading to the inevitable question about his son.
“Is he going to listen to you?”
“Did you listen to your dad, Tim?” Bill Walton responded with a smile.
We will soon find out if Luke Walton will listen to his regarding a career-defining decision.