The Los Angeles Lakers have confirmed their new head coach next season will be former player and current Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton.
Walton signed a multi-year deal with the team after talks began following the conclusion of the Warriors' first-round playoff series with the Houston Rockets. General manager Mitch Kupchak said the new coach will assume his position at the conclusion of Golden State's playoff run.
The 36-year-old has been a wanted man since he led the Warriors to an NBA-record 24-0 start to the season and his history with the Lakers meant it was a no-brainer for the former forward.
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Walton picked up his first coaching ring last season as the Dubs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-2 in the NBA Finals. In his second campaign, the Warriors went 39-4 under his leadership as Steve Kerr suffered back issues.
The challenges facing the new head coach are extremely different from what he has experienced in Golden State.
The Lakers have been on a downward spiral for the past three years and posted a franchise worst 17-65 record in Kobe Bryant's last campaign. Without the Black Mamba for the first time in 20 years, the challenge lies with the Lakers' young stars to rise to the task.
D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle have a bright future at the Staples Center but they must begin to show their true quality on a regular basis if the purple and gold are to be competitive once more. A high-end lottery pick in the 2016 draft will also help their cause.