Monday, August 22, 2011
Los Angeles Lakers forward Luke Walton has gone into coaching. According to a report by Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Walton will be named the third assistant under head coach Josh Pastner. Walton played at Arizona while Pastner was an assistant in Tucson. The Walton hiring will make him the third member of the Arizona connection, along with assistants Jack Murphy and Damon Stoudamire.
Walton will be charged with coaching the Tigers' post players. Pastner said Walton will also be involved in recruiting for as long as he's with the Tigers. Walton will remain with Memphis until the lockout is over.
Considering his diminshed role with the Lakers he might just stay there. Pastner does know there is a risk involved since the lockout could end at any time, but he seems very excited about the prospect of having an active NBA player on his staff.
"We're really excited about it," Pastner said. "You're talking about a guy who's played with the Lakers for eight years, has been a part of four NBA Finals, (has) two (championship) rings and has been in the huddle with Phil Jackson, who's arguably one of the greatest coaches in all of sports."
"It is a risk in the sense that the lockout could end at any time, but I felt the reward outweighs the risk," Pastner said. "(Walton) wants to coach. He wants to make a difference. He's really excited about this. He's going to be able to come in and help with the bigs. It's going to be great."
This could pay off big for Memphis in the recruiting department as the Walton name has some credibility in basketball circles. Walton will be in Memphis this week to help with the Tigers' individual workouts. Let's hope he's not a know it all like his father.