Earlier today, the Los Angeles Lakers and Luke Walton reached an agreement on a multi-year contract for Walton to become the next Head Coach of the team, it was announced by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Walton will begin his new duties at the conclusion of the Golden State Warriors season.
"We're excited to bring Luke back to Los Angeles, where we feel he's going to start an outstanding coaching career," said Kupchak.
Walton, 26th will be the Lakers 26th head coach; the 22nd in the Los Angeles era.
"We are thrilled for Luke,” said Warriors GM Bob Myers. “This is a tremendous opportunity for him to return home and serve as head coach for one of the most storied franchises in sports. Luke has done an incredible job during his two-year stint with our team and has played a significant role in our success, including last year’s championship and again this season under some very unique circumstances. We are certainly going to miss Luke after we conclude our playoff run this season, but we wish him the very best with the Lakers.”
“I’m incredibly happy for Luke,” said Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr. “As we witnessed earlier this season, he has all of the intangibles necessary to be an outstanding head coach in this league, including a terrific understanding of the game the ability to communicate with a wide range of people. He’s certainly ready for this opportunity and I’m confident he’ll do a great job with the Lakers once our season is complete.”
Walton is currently in his second season as an Assistant Coach with the Warriors. Earlier this season, he posted a 39-4 record as interim head coach in Steve Kerr's absence, including a 24-0 start, the best start in NBA history.
Walton enjoyed a 10-year NBA playing career (2003-13), averaging 4.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 564 regular season games with the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. Originally selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, he was a member of championship teams with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.
After his playing career, Walton served as a player development coach for the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the 2013-14 season. He also served as an assistant coach at the University of Memphis during the 2011 NBA lockout.