Luke Walton was finally introduced as the L.A. Lakers head coach yesterday, nearly two months after the original announcement was made.
The former Lakers player, who wore the Purple and Gold for nine seasons and collected two championships on four trips to the Finals, had to finish up his commitments with the Golden State Warriors before he could start his new employment.
Serving as an assistant to head coach Steve Kerr, Walton and the Dubs came within one game of winning back-to-back NBA titles only to be thwarted by an almost possessed LeBron James.
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ESPN's Marc Stein has suggested Walton arrives on a five-year deal - four years of which are guaranteed - at an annual salary between $5 million and $6 million, depending on incentives. For a first time coach, that's relatively unheard of.
After joking with general manager Mitch Kupchak about the pain of losing at the final hurdle, Walton turned his attention to how he is going to change the gloomy outlook at the Staples Center.
"We're going to put our stamp on the culture that we want, and it's going to be joy," Walton said. "Our players are going to like coming into practice every day. We're going to play a brand of basketball that the L.A. fans will appreciate. We're going to compete. All these things going forward with my vision of how we're going to do things is what I can control."
The Lakers have been linked with taking a run at top free agents like Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside, DeMar DeRozan and even LeBron, should he exercise a player option. Walton doesn't see any reason why a top free agent wouldn't want to come to L.A. with all that they have going for them.
"That the future is bright," Walton insisted. "We're going to play an up-tempo game. We're going to bring in another top draft pick this year and hopefully, get a solid player at 32 and we have money to spend and I know the Buss family and I know the Laker organization and they do what it takes to win. To me, that's all you really need to know and I [don't] see why you wouldn't want to come here and play."
It will be interesting to see if Walton can transfer the style he was a big part of with the Warriors for the past two years into his Laker unit and how quickly he can do it.
As someone who led the Warriors to a 24-0 start last season in Kerr's absence and who is personally far removed from the old school disciplinarian that former coach Byron Scott was, the hotly touted Lakers young core is in a great position to realise their potential and restore this historic franchise back to greatness.