Luke Walton has agreed to be the Los Angeles Lakers’ new head coach, with the sides agreeing to a multiyear deal on Friday, the team said.
Earlier 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.
Walton spent nine season with Lakers winning two championship rings as a smart, steady contributor. Now after three years of his retirement Luke Walton is back to become the 26 coach in the franchise history.
Warriors General Manager Bob Myers said “we are thrilled for Luke. This is a tremendous opportunity for him to return home and serve as head coach for one of the most storied franchises in sports. We are certainly going to miss Luke after we conclude our playoff runs this season, but we wish him the very best with the Lakers.”
According to a source 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.
Lakers general manager said in a release “We are excited to bring Luke back to Los Angeles, where we feel he’s going to start an outstanding coaching career, 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.”
Walton replaces Byron Scott, who was fired Sunday night after posting a 38-126 record the past two season. Now, the Lakers will begin the Kobe- less era with Walton leading the way from the sideline.