"They're losing one of the best human beings in the NBA."
—Steve Kerr on Luke Walton pic.twitter.com/nS4vxkmKjf
— ESPN (@espn) April 12, 2019
Friday afternoon, the Lakers officially fired former Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton after three seasons with the team.
Shortly after the news broke, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked about the move and gave his thoughts on Walton, his former assistant coach and good friend.
“I’m disappointed for Luke,” Kerr said via Anthony Slater. “In this job, as a coach in the NBA, you are 100 percent dependent on your circumstances — the strength of your organization, the momentum, the unity. Everything has to be in good order. If it’s not, as we have witnessed with the Lakers, then there’s going to be casualties and usually, the coach is the first one.”
Walton was fired following a disastrous season for the Lakers. A season in which new-Laker LeBron James was expected to carry the team to their first playoff appearance since 2013.
“They’re losing one of the best human beings in the NBA”, Kerr said. “They’re losing a guy who knows the game as well as anybody I’ve ever met. They’re losing somebody who players believe in, players want to play for. But, again, he was dependent on circumstances just like all of us are.”
The Lakers organization has been the focal point of the 2018-2019 NBA season. In addition to Walton’s firing, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson stepped down Tuesday. Luckily for Kerr, the state of the Warriors is the polar opposite of that of the Lakers.
“I feel for Luke. I feel fortunate to have a set of circumstances here where we’ve got wonderful people stabilizing our organization every day. I’m lucky to be in this position and to be surrounded by these people. It doesn’t happen in the NBA.”
Walton is rumored to be a candidate for the Sacramento Kings head coaching job immediately following the end of his tenure with the Lakers.