Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton is in a much different position than he was a year ago. As an assistant on the Golden State Warriors, Walton didn’t experience too many losses. In fact it was his time as interim coach, when he led the Warriors to a 24-0 start and 39-4 overall record, that most believed he was ready to be a head coach immediately.
With this young, rebuilding Lakers team Walton is getting a much different experience as they have struggled to garner any consistency throughout the season.
Despite the many losses, Walton maintains that he loves his job regardless of the daily outcomes according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes:
“The core of the job is awesome,” he says. “I get to get in my car every day and I love coming to work — and not many people get to do that. Coming into the building is exciting, every day, no matter how many we’ve lost or won. Again, the outliers make life frustrating at times and you can’t sleep at night and you don’t have an appetite, but that’s short lived. Everything else in life is awesome still.”
Furthermore, Walton notes that despite the obvious differences between the Warriors and Lakers, his overall job is the same:
“The job itself is still the same,” he says. “It’s rewarding. It’s exciting. Now we’re competing for different things there and here, but the competition level is right there from the daily practices to the games. We only lost nine games last year, and I remember being sick after every one of them. It’s crazy. The feeling, that’s always there. What I’m trying to say is the core of this year and last year are the same, at least for me.”
For a coach in his first real job, Walton has an excellent grasp on how he wants to handle things. He spoke about the importance of always being himself and he has called on his mentors such as Phil Jackson and Steve Kerr in times of need.
Both the front office and the players themselves have expressed how much they believe in Walton and his coaching ability. Whether he returns the Lakers to greatness remains to be seen, but he has the passion and drive to make it happen.