The organization announced its decision to "mutually" part ways with coach Luke Walton after three seasons. Before going to Los Angeles, he was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, where he led the team to a 39-4 mark to open the 2015-16 season while coach Steve Kerr was recovering from back issues.
After a disappointing season saw the organisation miss out on the playoffs for a sixth straight season despite the addition of LeBron James in the summer, Walton paid the price.
"We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years", said Lakers' General Manager Rob Pelinka in the official release. The team's offensive output marked an increase of 15.4 points per game after the Kings finished last in the National Basketball Association at 98.8 points during the 2017-18 season. "They're losing a guy who knows the game as well as anybody I've ever met". A season in which new-Laker LeBron James was expected to carry the team to their first playoff appearance since 2013. The Hall of Fame point guard was upset with the team's defense and sluggish start but later told the Los Angeles Times and ESPN that Walton would not be fired barring something unforeseen.
Well, I think it's safe to say I called this one correctly.
Not many Lakers observers questioned Walton's man-management abilities, but his tactical acumen was widely criticized. But at that time, Walton didn't even interview with the Kings.
He certainly has coached some of the game's biggest stars and egos.
With the Sacramento Kings now holding a vacant coaching spot, we'll take a look at five leading candidates to replace Dave Joerger.