LISTEN: Carmichael Dave Interviews Kings Head Coach Luke Walton
Listen to Dave and Luke talk about the restart of the season, the closing of the practice facility and much more
This morning on The Drive, Carmichael Dave aired his pre-recorded sit-down interview with Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton.
Walton was in the process of leading the Kings towards a playoff push when the COVID-19 outbreak brought the NBA season to a halt. With 18 games left to play, Sacramento remains only 3.5 games out of the final playoff spot as questions continue to arise regarding the continuance of the season.
Sacramento will head to the ‘bubble’ site in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday as they ready themselves for their first preseason game on July 22nd.
Just over the Fourth of July weekend, Sacramento closed their practice facility due to a positive COVID-19 test within their travel party to Orlando. On the precautionary closure of the facility, Walton shared his thoughts.
“We got a little bit of unfortunate news today, nothing that is too unexpected, but we decided just to be safe and close down the facility for the next couple of days before we take off,” Walton said. “We’re excited to be back together and be able to have the opportunity to play some basketball again.”
On his feelings towards the safety of the ‘bubble’ site in Orlando, Walton stated that he feels safe making the trip to Florida.
“This has got to be a personal decision made for everybody. The decision that I have made is that I feel comfortable enough going. I think that if you’re going to be in a bubble and quarantined once we get there, there is always going to be that risk, but that is something that I’ve come to terms with and I have accepted. Once I have made that decision, it’s something that I’m comfortable with for myself.”
There will be no fans at the season restart, meaning that the league will be finishing its season in empty gyms located within ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.
On what the game environment will be like with no fans, Walton admitted that it will be strange.
“It’s going to be strange, I don’t think that anything could have prepared us for this. I mean, we’re talking about nobody, empty arenas. Even in summer league, you get a couple thousand fans in there. I think that communicating with players through hand signals as opposed to yelling as you do a lot during normal games is something that you’ll see a lot. Calling players over to whisper something in their ear as opposed to yelling at them is something that will be apart of it.”
Over the course of the interview, Walton goes on to answer questions regarding player rotations, how he will handle the conditioning of players that haven’t played in a game since March, how ‘bubble’ life will be and much more.
Check out the entire interview by clicking the “play” button at the top of the page, or check out today’s entire episode of “The Drive” here.