The Los Angeles Lakers named Luke Walton as their new head coach on Friday night. The team moved quickly in locking down Walton as the decision to fire Byron Scott came less than a week earlier.
In speaking about the coaching search, general manager Mitch Kupchak said that the search would probably take at least two weeks and the team reportedly had interviews lined up with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina and former Cavaliers coach David Blatt.
Obviously those interviews were cancelled as things happened quickly for Walton and the Lakers. According to Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times, the deal came together quicker than even Walton expected:
Luke: "I left the meeting (with Laker execs) thinking it went well. I obviously didn't know it would get done that quickly."
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) April 30, 2016
Someone else who was surprised by how quickly the two sides came to an agreement was Warriors coach Steve Kerr who said he was shocked according to Bill Oram of the OC Register:
Steve Kerr said he was "shocked" Lakers hired Luke Walton so quickly. Figured Lakers would take a couple of weeks.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 30, 2016
Many may have been shocked with how quickly the Lakers moved to lock down Walton, but it shows how serious the Lakers were in believing Walton was their best option. The Lakers’ last coaching search stretched into late July and the team did not want to make that mistake again.
Walton will be able to be a part of the Lakers’ draft and free agency this off-season as the team looks to make a huge splash. If Walton is able to turn the Lakers around as quickly as this deal got done, Lakers fans everywhere will be extremely excited.