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Tag:Luke Walton
Posted on: August 22, 2011 4:50 pm
 

Memphis Tigers hire Luke Walton as an assistant

Posted by Royce Young

Finding a lockout job can be tough. Most players are looking overseas to play somewhere professionally. Delonte West might work at Sam's Club. Kevin Durant might star in a movie.

So it really shouldn't be all too shocking that Luke Walton is going to join the Memphis Tigers' coaching staff if NBA games are lost. From an official release:

Luke Walton, a member of the 2009 and 2010 NBA World Champion Los Angeles Lakers, has been recommended to join the Memphis men's basketball coaching staff, head coach Josh Pastner announced Monday. Walton's hiring is pending approval of the University and Tennessee State Board of Regents.

Walton was also a member of two other Lakers squads that advanced to the NBA Finals (2004, 2008). Of his eight seasons in the NBA, Walton's teams have made seven playoff appearances.

"Luke is going to bring great excitement and great energy to the Tigers program, and we're thrilled to have him," said Pastner. "Luke is someone who has not only played for but also learned from arguably one of the greatest coaches in basketball history in Phil Jackson. Luke's also played with and against the best-of-the-best at the highest level of basketball in the NBA, including being a teammate of one of the NBA's all-time greats in Kobe Bryant.

"Luke will be a great coach because he brings a wealth of knowledge and a winning attitude to the Tigers program. His experiences, which include playing in four NBA Finals and winning two NBA World Championships, are lessons that he can share with our players to help them grow and develop their games."

Walton, who has two years left on his contract with the Lakers through 2012-13, will remain on the Tigers staff until the resumption of the current NBA season.

The Tigers have been one of the top college programs over the past decade or so producing a heap of NBA players and (unofficially) finishing runner-up for the national championship in 2008. So for Walton, who clearly has aspirations to coach somewhere once his NBA career wraps, this is a great step in that direction.

Walton shouldn't have too much trouble finding a gig as his dad obviously knows people -- never a bad thing to be one of the favorite players of the greatest coach ever, John Wooden -- and playing in the NBA and being part of title teams helps.

Walton was a pretty darn good college player too at Arizona. He was an All-American in 2002 and a finalist for the Wooden Award. So he obviously knows and appreciates the college game. Whether he has a vision of coaching there or in the NBA is unknown, but like I said, it's a good foot in the door.

One thing I wonder: Is Walton going to be a little disappointed if the lockout gets lifted and he doesn't get to do his coaching gig? I kind of think he'd rather be yelling at college kids than having Kobe Bryant yell at him.

Via I Am A GM

Posted on: August 19, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: August 19, 2011 10:07 am
 

Kobe Bryant, Lakers help out former team staff

By Matt Moore

The Lakers elected not to re-sign much of their training and basketball operations staff this summer. It was a total housecleaning move which seems pretty insane considering the vast amount of success the Lakers have enjoyed for the past... well, ever, but especially recently. 

Kobe Bryant is generally considered a pretty hard-hearted guy, what with the poisonous snake moniker, ruthless desire to win and cool, calculated demeanor, not to mention the jaw-jut.

How are those two things related? Turns out Kobe Bryant was willing to do the right thing by the video staff, even if the Lakers decided to go in another direction. From the Los Angeles Times
Kobe Bryant insisted on giving some of the team's playoff bonus to two members of the Lakers' video department whose contracts were not renewed after the season. Chris Bodaken and Patrick O'Keefe split about $65,000 of the Lakers' playoff bonus.

...

"He always looks out for people who are lower on the totem pole," O'Keefe said.

Said Bodaken: "At the end of the day, he told us he was going to take care of us and he did, and that's not how most people in the world operate. He not only talks the talk. He walks it."
via Lakers donate to help displaced staff members - latimes.com.

Yet another in a long series of things which make the players look like people willing to compromise and give in terms of money while the owners seem to be, you know, not that. But let's not sully it by complicating it with the lockout. In reality, this was just a decent effort from a player to give back to the guys who help the team and don't get their names in the highlight reels. Well, I mean, beyond Luke Walton and Derrick Caracter. It's nice to hear about a player wanting to look out for the people who work hard for the team and don't get the big salaries. And the fact that the rest of the players agreed is a nice touch, too.

The article also states that Walton specifically gave money individually to members of the training staff. The Lakers, usually regarded as a me-first group seem pretty considerate. More stories about things like this are always welcome.
Posted on: February 1, 2011 1:28 am
Edited on: February 1, 2011 1:29 am
 

Lakers GM open to considering a trade

With Lakers underperforming, GM Mitch Kupchak says he "may have to look into a trade."
Posted by Matt Moore

The Lakers are 1-5 against top echelon teams. Phil Jackson couldn't care less. Kobe Bryant is beyond angry. And General Manager Mitch Kupchak? He's talking T-word. Trade. From the Los Angeles Times:

"Yes . . . I may have to look into a trade, but I'm not saying we have "talked to other teams yet, Kupchak said. "We have not been playing up to our level and I dont know why. Maybe its complacency. Im not sure."
via Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak says hes thought about making a trade - latimes.com.


A trade? By the defending champs? Could this be happening? Even with the measured and cautious words being tossed around by Kupchak, that's a pretty stunning development even if the Lakers are simply considering a trade. This is a team that has looked every bit like a Finals contender, unless they've been facing an elite team this year. It's also a team that's notorious for not taking teams seriously, having gone seven games with a Yao-less Rockets squad in 2009, having a terrible second half last year, and letting the Suns push them in the Western Conference Finals using a zone, for crying out loud. You have to think this is just an emotional quote from Kupchak revealing a frustration with the team's play, or at least a Jackson-like motivational tactic.

Even stranger than the idea of the Lakers needing to make a trade is the idea of what trade they would be able to make. Every Laker of consequence with any value, contract or skill-wise, has at least two more years left on their deals. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are obviously not even in this discussion. So what are the next options?
  • Lamar Odom- Trade Status: Obscenely unlikely. Odom is the quintessential heart and soul of this club. He's found a home there and has flourished when his head is plugged in. What's more, he's part of the reason for the Lakers' absurd length advantage. When Odom is on, the Lakers are nearly unstoppable. Moving him would garner the best set of assets, but who could they get for him, with nearly $9 million on the books for next season, even with his 2013 salary non-guaranteed at $8.2 million?
  • Andrew Bynum- Trade Status: Pretty unlikely. Bynum has been involved in trade rumors for years due to his inconsistency, rehab work ethic, and injuries. Yet it was his toughness fighting through the Finals last spring on a torn ligament that helped assure the Lakers a title. He's now considered an invaluable part of the offense, and his improving defense, combined with his willingness to give a hard foul, means he's the backbone of what has been a very soft Lakers interior lately. Combine that with the difficulty of getting teams to invest in someone with his injury history, and the near-$15 million on the books for next year and a team option for over $16 million the next, and it's hard to see a suitor for Bynum that would keep the Lakers in contention.
  • Ron Artest- Trade Status: Difficult: From zero to hero to zero again. Artest struggled all last year trying to learn the Triangle, was terrible at times in the playoffs, then hit the biggest hot of his career to help clinch a title for the Lakers (as well as a tip-in in the Western Conference Finals) and was everyone's hero. This year? Back to the doghouse. If anyone's to be moved, it's probably Artest, but that says more about where Ron's sunk to rather than where his value is at. Getting anything for someone who's been such a pain for so many teams with over $21 million left on his contract after this year is difficult. When it's Ron Artest? Even harder.
  • Luke Walton- Trade Status: Ha-ha-ha-ha: Yes, because I'm sure that what GMs with a valuable commodity are thinking is "Oh, we can get the 28th pick in the draft and Luke Walton with over $11 million left on his contract over the next two years? Who wouldn't do that deal?" Walton's contract is slowly reaching movable status after an ill-advised extension, but he's a long ways away from upgrade-bait. 
  • Steve Blake- Trade Status- Limited: Blake's got three years after this one for a combined roughly $14 million, is a serviceable point guard, and fits easy into a rotation. So he's got some value. But in terms of trying to get a major upgrade, he'd have to be packaged with one of the above candidates in order for it to make any sense. He can act as icing on the cake, but even then, having three years left on his deal may make it a little too sweet for most. 
  • Derek Fisher - Trade Status: Laughable: The Lakers would never give up their most veteran leader who everyone came up to and thanked after winning the last title. Bryant would never stand to lose the guy he's been to the playoffs with the most. Not everyone can run the Triangle point guard position... okay, that's a lie. Pretty much everyone can dribble the ball up, pass it to Kobe Bryant, and then go sit in a corner and often get blown by on defense. But Fisher's hit too many huge shots in Laker history to be forsaken. And no one is looking to pay him another $6.8 million for two more years. 
  • Shannon Brown- Trade Status: Intriguing, if unlikely: Brown failed to fetch any significant offers on the open market this summer, so who's going to trade for him now, even in a career year for him? He's got great upside and has looked like a possible building block, but who doesn't when they're running next to this team? Brown's cheap and his contract is flexible, but he's not going to cash in any huge superstar on the open market. 
  • Matt Barnes- Trade Status: Injured: Barnes is injured for a few more weeks, his contract's too low to matter, and the only teams that would be interested in him are contenders, the sort of teams that would never give up valuable assets to the defending champs. 

So while Kupchak may be looking to try and upgrade his team, Michael Heisley and Chris Wallace aren't walking through that door. Even with the Nuggets being dragged slowly towards the inescapable black hole in the reality that they have to trade Carmelo Anthony, and the Sixers wanting to offload Iguodala to make room for their rebuilding project, or the Suns in near full-on blow-up mode, no one's going to be looking to the Lakers to cash in.  The Lakers are on top, and have spent a lot to get to the top. They're loaded with talent, but it's not talent that garners a lot on the market. 

After all, how do you possibly get great return on trading members of the most talented team in the league? Instead, I think the Lakers will take the Phil Jackson approach. Sit back, relax, coast through the next four months, and flip the switch when it counts. They've done it before. They'll do it again. 
Posted on: January 4, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Report: Apple iPhone glitch gets three Lakers

Posted by Royce Young

If it looked like the Lakers were a bit lethargic in their 104-89 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday, it's because some of them actually were a little weary-eyed. As in maybe they just woke up.

A team official told ESPN.com that at least three Lakers, including Pau Gasol, were victims of Apple's now famous iPhone/iPod glitch that caused the alarm function to not work. As a result, Gasol entirely missed the team's shootaround and the two others (one was Luke Walton) were late.

Mentioned in the report is that Gasol's absence just added to Kobe Bryant's current frustration with the team, highlighting a perceived lack of committment and focus from the two-time champs. The loss to the Grizzlies made it fourth out of six in the loss column for the Lakers.

Gasol had 10 points, eight rebounds and five turnovers with no assists in 32 minutes. After the loss the Memphis was when a lot of the barbs between Phil Jackson and Kobe started getting tossed around.

One of the complaints from Jackson was how Gasol wasn't involved enough in the offense in the second half. Maybe the reason he didn't get more involved was because he wasn't totally awake during the game.

Right now, the Lakers are going through the motions and just kind of expecting to get by each night because of talent. They don't have the same commitment to the defensive end that made them champions and Kobe is trying to do way too much.

It really looks like the Lakers need a pretty good wake-up call. Better to use something other than an iPhone for it though, I think.
Posted on: November 2, 2010 9:50 am
Edited on: November 2, 2010 9:54 am
 

Shootaround 11.2.10: LeBron's not laughing

Posted by Royce Young
  • Anthony Tolliver did a funny little Decision spoof back when he signed a two-year, $4.5 million deal with the Wolves. But LeBron has taken notice and doesn't think it's very funny: "We play Minnesota twice," James said to reporters. Tolliver told Brian Windhorst, “It was just me having fun, making fun of the decision,” Tolliver said after the Wolves practice on Monday. “When I did it, I had no intention to have him react.” “If he’s seen the video then he would know that it had nothing to do with him personally, it was about the situation.”
  • Howard Beck of The New York Times: "In 2005, Ronny Turiaf needed open-heart surgery to repair an enlarged aortic root. Ten months later, Jack Gilroy, then 7, had a heart transplant. At the time, Gilroy knew nothing of Turiaf. But the two seemed like natural lunch partners Monday at the Knicks’ training center. They talked about scars and echocardiograms, fishing and boogie boarding and Jack’s smooth 10-foot bank shot. 'Nice form,' Turiaf remarked in his thick French accent. 'Quick learner.' In recent years, there have been dozens of visits like this for Turiaf, a 6-foot-10 center who brings equal amounts of frenetic energy to defense and heart-health awareness."
  • M. Haubs of The Painted Area says Thunder fans should be a little concerned because of the lack of defense: “After the embarrassing loss on Sunday, the Thunder's numbers show ample regression on defense after a week. Is this because of [assistant coach Ron] Adams's departure? Is it because of the absence of underrated defender Nick Collison? The Thunder were 7.6 points per 100 possessions better defensively (one of the best numbers in the league in that +/- department) with Collison, who led the league in charges drawn, on the floor last season. Collison is out with a bone bruise in his knee, after playing 75 games last season (charmed luck with injuries in '09-10 was a significant factor in the Thunder's meteoric rise).”
  • Vinny Del Negro gave Baron Davis a small public rip: "He got out of shape pretty bad. He’s not in great physical condition. Baron has to put in the time….” Del Negro said before his Clippers took on the San Antonio Spurs. “Baron wants to do it. But I need to see action. Talk is talk. I’m optimistic he can do it.”
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com