So I guess it’s safe to say the Los Angeles Lakers prefer Luke Walton to Byron Scott.
Bold, I know. But it’s the truth. The Lakers are above .500, at 4-3, with one of the 12 best net ratings in the NBA. And while it’s still early, Jordan Clarkson says the team wants to continue winning for Walton, per Serena Winters of Lakers Nation:
*Many Lakers expressing this*
Clarkson: “I would run thru a wall for coach right now. We want to get wins for him, as well as ourselves.”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 7, 2016
The feeling is apparently mutual, too:
Randle on Luke: "He wants to run through a wall for us too….when you have someone that truly cares about you, its just a different feeling.”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 8, 2016
Don’t you just love a good love story?
Granted, Walton’s reign in Los Angeles has yet to be really tested. No one expected the Lakers to be 4-3 at this point. They’re supposed to be contending for one of the five worst records in the NBA, not pulling off upsets over the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors. The team might not be so warm and fuzzy and together after enduring a losing streak, or after regressing to a mean that will include them plunging outside the Western Conference’s playoff picture.
Still, even with all the unknowns involved, it’s hard to see the Lakers and Walton doing anything more than slowly moving out of the honeymoon phases and into a stasis of steadying stability. Walton has done a phenomenal job thus far of balancing minutes between the kiddies and the veterans, and the team plays its ass off every single night.
No matter how many losses the Lakers rack up, they have the look and feel of a squad that won’t bend, then break, the way they did under Scott. The culture seems different from the outside, and this onset sense of respect shared between coach and player is an important part of that.