Meet Luke Walton, the Sacramento Kings’ new head coach
The Kings have filled their coaching vacancy, according to multiple reports.
The Athletic’s Sam Amick tweeted that Kings general manager Vlade Divac and former Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton agreed on a four-year deal Saturday for Walton to become the team’s next head coach. The Bee’s Jason Anderson has confirmed the deal.
Walton went 98-148 in three seasons with the Lakers, including a 37-45 mark this season. Before going to Los Angeles, he was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, where he led the team to a 39-4 mark to open the 2015-16 season while coach Steve Kerr was recovering from back issues.
Kerr spoke about Walton before the Warriors hosted Game 1 against the Los Angeles Clippers, as seen in a video tweeted by Logan Murdock of NBC Sports.
“That was quick,” Kerr said. “Great opportunity though, really nice young team. I thought Dave Joerger did a tremendous job there the last few years. They’ve established a really good foundation. It’s a hell of an opportunity for him.”
The search for a new coach went fast this time because Divac was interested in hiring Walton three years ago, according to Sean Cunningham of ABC10.
The Kings hired Dave Joerger before the 2016-17 season. He was fired Thursday, one day after the Kings’ season ended at 39-43, the team’s best record since its last playoff appearance in 2005-06. However, Sacramento went 9-16 after the All-Star break and have the NBA’s longest current postseason drought at 13 years.
Like Walton, Joerger also had a 98-148 coaching record in three full seasons.