SANTA BARBARA — The positive reinforcement has gushed out of Luke Walton’s mouth with frequency. Perhaps as much as when he saw Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson sink 3-pointers as a former Golden State assistant.
The Lakers’ new head coach has praised his players’ efforts in training camp. He has expressed optimism about the young core’s development including D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. Walton has embraced the concept in empowering those players to become leaders.
Walton hardly did not offer any positive feedback, however, regarding his rookies’ singing performance in a talent show open to UCSB students on Thursday night. Then, Brandon Ingram (Rihanna’s “Diamonds”), Ivica Zubac (Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”), Zach Auguste (Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles”) and Julian Jacobs (Katy Perry’s “Roar”) all grabbed the microphone and performed something that would not prompt an invitation on “American Idol.”
“I respected the effort,” Walton said after Friday’s practice at Robertson Gymnasium. “I was not impressed with the talent.”