The last three Lakers coaching hires have been a disaster. The Lakers hired Luke Walton as their newest Head Coach without even interviewing another candidate. He was hired largely because of his brief stint coaching the Warriors in Steve Kerr’s absence in the first half of the season.
Walton was 39-4, but the team was loaded with talent and the self-motivated. The Lakers are none of those things. Colin thinks Laker fans need to pump the breaks on the idea that Walton is a can’t-miss coaching genius.
“Luke Walton was a substitute teacher. If you were a substitute teacher and you inherited 20 kids, 18 of which are going to college. They’re driven. They’re composed. They’re aspirational. They work hard. You inherit them. You’re the substitute teacher because the teacher got injured and is out for six weeks.
You’re the substitute. You come in with this class. They’ve already qualified. They’ve got their SAT’s in. They’re all Seniors. Luke Walton comes in. He’s the substitute teacher. And we’re now claiming he gets credit for that great first half in the regular season.”
Recent history shows that winning games with a supremely talented team, like Luke Walton did with the Warriors, doesn’t translate to winning over the long term.
Barry Switzer won a Super Bowl with Jimmy Johnson’s players. He couldn’t sustain it and was fired. Larry Coker won a national championship at Miami with Butch Davis’ players. He was fired. In 2013, Mark Helfrich took over Oregon from Chip Kelly. He reached a national championship game with Kelly’s players. Three years later aren’t even favored to win the Pac-12.
Luke Walton could end up being more like Chip Kelly than Mark Helfrich. Based on the Lakers’ recent track record of hiring coaches, they don’t get the benefit of the doubt.