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Erik Spoelstra says Luke Walton is "the right guy at this time" to coach LeBron James

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Soon after the Los Angeles Lakers secured the huge free agent signing of LeBron James, Luke Walton immediately started planning for life coaching the best player in the world. 

ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported that the Lakers head coach reached out to some of LeBron's former coaches to ask for advice. 

He reportedly met with Tyronn Lue earlier this week and also contacted Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. 

Seeking wisdom

James' most successful years came with both Lue and Spoelstra, winning one championship with the former and two with the latter in Miami. 

Prior to his arrival in South Beach, the 33-year-old had never won a title but he ended that drought with the Heat playing alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. 

But working under coach Spo was also a big reason why he was able to claim two rings with the Florida-based outfit. 

That's why Walton wanted to speak to him and ask for tips on how he should approach the task facing him next season. 

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Five

Following his chat with the Lakers coach, Spoelstra was asked how he feels his counterpart will cope with leading his team now that the King is part of it. 

“I think Luke is the right guy at this time," he told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. "And Luke is comfortable with that entire environment.

"He grew up with the Lakers as a player with a team that was in a fishbowl. Golden State he’s used to that kind of environment and last year coaching the Lakers, that’s his comfort zone. I think he’ll be just fine.”

Walton is definitely somebody that's familiar with how things go in LA and he's been around superstars throughout his career both as a player and a coach. 

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Lakers

But he has a huge job ahead of him next season as the team's expectations with LBJ on the roster will soar. 

In a recent interview with The Athletic's Bill Oram, the 38-year-old outlined how important it'll be for him to click with the four-time MVP. 

"Every case is unique and different. I have to build a relationship with LeBron; that's going to be a top priority for me. ... Getting to know him and having him get to know me, and then we go from there," he said. 

2018 NBA Finals - Game Four

Walton will be heading into his third year as Lakers coach and he has made steady progress in his first two seasons. 

But he'll now have to go from building a young team to competing for a championship. 

That transition should be made easier by the presence of one of the greatest players of all time. 

CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.

Topics:
Erik Spoelstra
Tyronn Lue
Luke Walton
L.A. Lakers
Miami Heat
LeBron James
NBA

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