Luke Walton returns to Lakers as head coach

Luke Walton has earned a promotion — of sorts.

The 36-year-old Walton was announced as the Los Angeles Lakers’ new head coach Friday evening, after leading the Warriors to a 39-4 record for the first half of this season.

Walton will go from championship roster to another which has been underwhelming on the court, and even worse in the locker room.

D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers’ first-round selection of 2015, alienated Nick Young, his team’s best veteran player, when he recorded a conversation where Young described his extra-marital exploits before the tape found its way onto the Internet.

Walton played eight-plus seasons of his 11-year NBA career with the Lakers after being drafted with the third pick of the second round in the 2003 NBA Draft. Walton won consecutive NBA titles alongside Kobe Bryant in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 campaigns.

A statement from Golden State Friday night said Walton would begin his new job after the conclusion of the Warriors season.


Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Golden State Warriors beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Warriors basketball.