The Los Angeles Lakers took a step forward this summer in becoming a progressive team in the NBA. The storied franchise chose to move on from the forgettable Byron Scott era and roll the dice on a first-time head coach and former player, Luke Walton.
Although Walton has yet to coach a game for the Lakers, second-year forward Larry Nance Jr. says the 36-year-old has already changed the culture of this team. Nance sung Walton’s praises recently in a podcast with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders:
“Since Luke’s gotten here, the culture has kinda changed. Now, he’s on the court working with us, and the assistants are on the court working with us and kinda implementing in our game what they would like to see in our offense.
“I just know all of us (young players) have been working and are really excited. It’s just a whole new culture and a whole new feel around the gym and it’s really nice to see.”
Walton has quickly become a hit with the Lakers young core of players. D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and Nance have all liked what they’ve seen in their new head coach.
Walton comes off as relatable to these young players while also being approachable and open to new ideas. This style of coaching seems to be very progressive and might be exactly what is needed in Los Angeles with all the young talent on the squad.
Obviously, Walton has a long way to go to prove his worth as the new head coach of the Lakers. Everyone might be singing his praises right now and trashing him a year later, but it seems as though he’s gotten off to a good start with a potentially promising future ahead.