Sacramento Kings Hire Luke Walton as New Head Coach
Just days after firing Dave Joerger, it only took one interview for Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac to hire his guy. Luke Walton, former Los Angeles Lakers head coach (who was fired just yesterday), and assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors has agreed to be the Kings’ new head coach. His contract is on par with Divac’s new deal through the 2022-23 season.
The Kings and Luke Walton have agreed to terms for him to be the next coach, a source tells @TheAthleticNBA. The length of his deal will be in line with that of Kings GM Vlade Divac, running through the 2022-23 season.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 13, 2019
In his three seasons with the Lakers, Walton finished with an identical record to Joerger’s three seasons with Sacramento; 98-148. He coached an exciting young Lakers team to 35 wins in 2017-18, before LeBron James came to town and changed the plan entirely.
Walton has a reputation around the league as being a “players coach”. A former NBA player himself, plus being the son of NBA legend Bill Walton, has earned him a lot of respect around the league from his fellow coaches and the players themselves. Here’s what Steve Kerr, who Walton assisted under in Golden State, had to say about Luke after being fired by the Lakers:
Kings GM Vlade Divac indeed has reached out to schedule an interview with Luke Walton regarding the Sacramento vacancy, now that he’s available, according to league sources.
Today, Warriors coach Steve Kerr gushed about Walton & his character pic.twitter.com/Gp1dKtTZA8
— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) April 12, 2019
Vlade wasted little time getting his guy, who the Kings reportedly wanted to hire three years ago, but Walton was not interested in the current roster and state of the franchise. Now, with an exciting young core and playoff expectations next season, Walton may have found the perfect place to begin his, and Sacramento’s, redemption story.