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Luke Walton
Luke Walton1 (cropped).jpg
Walton with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008
Los Angeles Lakers
Position Head coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1980-03-28) March 28, 1980 (age 38)
San Diego, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school University of San Diego HS
(San Diego, California)
College Arizona (1999–2003)
NBA draft 2003 / Round: 2 / Pick: 32nd overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Playing career 2003–2013
Position Small forward / Power forward
Number 4, 32
Coaching career 2011–present
Career history
As player:
20032012 Los Angeles Lakers
20122013 Cleveland Cavaliers
As coach:
2011 Memphis (assistant)
20142016 Golden State Warriors (assistant)
2016–present Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards

As player:

As assistant coach:

Stats at

Luke Theodore Walton (born March 28, 1980) is an American professional basketball coach and former player. He currently serves as the head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).[1][2] He played 10 seasons in the NBA as a forward, and won two NBA championships with the Lakers and won one with the Golden State Warriors as an assistant coach.

Walton played college basketball with the Arizona Wildcats. He was a second-team All-American and a two-time first-team all-conference selection in the Pac-10. He was selected in the second round of the 2003 NBA draft by the Lakers. After the 2010 NBA Finals, Walton and his father, Hall of Famer Bill Walton, became the first father and son to have both won multiple NBA championships: Bill won in 1977 and 1986, and Luke in 2009 and 2010.[3] His best season statistically was 2006–07 with over 11 points, 5 rebounds, and over 4 assists per game.

As the Warriors' interim head coach in 2015–16, he guided the team to the longest winning streak to open a season in league history.

Early life[edit]

The son of former UCLA star and NBA Hall-of-Famer Bill Walton, Luke Walton was named after his father's close friend and former Portland Trail Blazers teammate Maurice Lucas.[4] He has three brothers: Adam, Nathan, and Chris. Walton attended University of San Diego High School in San Diego, California,[5] graduating in 1998.

College career[edit]

Walton played basketball at the University of Arizona under coach Lute Olson. His best year statistically was as a junior, when he averaged 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.6 blocks per game. During his senior year he averaged 10.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 0.9 steals per game.

Walton graduated from Arizona in the spring of 2003 after completing work in family studies and human development.

Professional career[edit]

Los Angeles Lakers (2003–2012)[edit]

Walton was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2003 NBA draft with the second pick of the second round (32nd overall). Walton was a favorite of Lakers fans during his nine-year stint as a selfless, hard-working reserve player.[6] He was chosen to represent Team Los Angeles in the Shooting Stars Competition during All-Star Weekend in 2005.[7]

In 2006–07, Walton had his best year in the NBA. He scored a career-high 25 points against the Atlanta Hawks on December 8, 2006. For the season he posted career-high per-game averages in minutes, field goal percentage, steals, blocks, rebounds, assists and points as the Lakers starting small forward. Following the season, on July 12, 2007, Walton was signed by the Lakers to a 6-year, $30 million contract.[8] The Lakers then made three straight runs to the NBA Finals; they lost to the Celtics in 2008, but defeated the Magic in 2009 and Celtics in 2010 to win back-to-back championships. This gave Walton two championships as a player, the same amount his father won.

Cleveland Cavaliers (2012–2013)[edit]

On March 15, 2012, Walton was traded along with Jason Kapono and a 2012 first-round draft choice to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga.[9]

Coaching career[edit]

University of Memphis (2011)[edit]

Walton's first coaching experience was with the University of Memphis, which hired Walton as an assistant coach during the 2011 NBA lockout.[10] He remained an assistant at Memphis until the lockout was over.

Following his retirement Walton was hired as a player development coach by the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League, joining the team in November 2013 for the 2013–14 season.[11]

Golden State Warriors (2014–2016)[edit]

The following year Walton became an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors. Said Walton, "We are gonna run parts of the triangle offense, and I know that thing front and back." Walton joined the Warrior staff July 3, 2014.[2] The Warriors won the 2015 NBA Finals after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to give Walton his third NBA championship and first as a coach.

During 2015–16 training camp in October 2015, Walton was appointed as the Warriors interim head coach when Steve Kerr took an indefinite leave of absence to rehabilitate his back that had been bothering him after the NBA Finals.[1][12] Walton made his coaching debut in the season opener on October 27 in a 111–95 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Three games later, he presided over the third-largest margin of victory in franchise history when the Warriors defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 119–69, which was also the largest margin in the league since 1991.[13] The Warriors set a new NBA record by winning their first four games by a total margin of 100 points.[14] With a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on November 24, he guided the Warriors to a 16th consecutive victory to start the season, a new NBA record.[15]

Walton was named the NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month for games played in October and November, after guiding Golden State to a 19–0 start.[16] He received the award despite technically being winless, since the Warriors' record was credited to Kerr. Since Kerr was still the head coach, NBA rules stipulated that the team's record under an interim coach be credited to the head coach,[17] though the league considered altering the rule given Walton's case.[18] However, the NBA permits an interim or acting head coach to be eligible for coaching awards.[19] The Warriors extended their record start to 24–0. They were 39–4, the second-best start in league history, when Kerr resumed coaching full-time on January 22, 2016.[20] Golden State ended the season an NBA-record 73–9, and Kerr was voted the NBA Coach of the Year. The coach had Walton, who coached more games during the season than Kerr (43–39), sit next to him on the podium at the award press conference. Walton finished ninth in the voting, receiving one second-place and two third-place votes.[21]

Los Angeles Lakers (2016–present)[edit]

On April 29, 2016, the Lakers hired Walton to become their new head coach once the Warriors' season ended in the 2016 NBA Finals, replacing Byron Scott.[22]

In his first season with the Lakers, the team improved upon their franchise worst 17–65 record from the previous year, finishing 26–56. During the season, Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss were replaced by Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. Johnson and Pelinka both spoke highly of Walton and said he would remain the head coach of the team.[citation needed] The Lakers won five of their last six games of the season, bringing some momentum into the off-season.[citation needed]

Walton's second season with the Lakers saw another slight improvement, as the team finished 35–47, its best record since the 2012–13 season.[citation needed]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Walton was hired by Time Warner Cable SportsNet in 2013 to join their Lakers on-air broadcast team.[23]

Personal life[edit]

On his right arm, there is a tattoo of four Grateful Dead-type dancing skeletons, each one with a basketball; the skeletons represent Luke and his three brothers.

In 2006, Walton made a cameo appearance on the television soap opera The Young and the Restless.[24]

In December 2008, a woman named Stacy Elizabeth Beshear pleaded no contest to charges of stalking Walton. At one point, she pulled up to Walton's car and "pretended to fire gunshots at him with her hand." She was sentenced to three years' probation, told to attend weekly counseling sessions for a year and ordered to stay away for three years from Walton's home and from the Lakers' games and practices.[25]

In 2009, Luke and his father became the third father-son duo to both win NBA championships as players, following the Guokases (Matt Sr. and Matt Jr.) and the Barrys (Rick and Brent).

On August 17, 2013, Walton married long-time girlfriend Bre Ladd. The two met at the University of Arizona; she was a standout middleblocker on the university's volleyball team.[26]

NBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Walton won an NBA championship

Regular season[edit]

2003–04 L.A. Lakers 72 2 10.1 .425 .333 .705 1.8 1.6 .4 .1 2.4
2004–05 L.A. Lakers 61 5 12.6 .411 .262 .708 2.3 1.5 .4 .2 3.2
2005–06 L.A. Lakers 69 6 19.3 .412 .327 .750 3.6 2.3 .6 .2 5.0
2006–07 L.A. Lakers 60 60 33.0 .474 .387 .745 5.0 4.3 1.0 .4 11.4
2007–08 L.A. Lakers 74 31 23.4 .450 .333 .706 3.9 2.9 .8 .2 7.2
2008–09 L.A. Lakers 65 34 17.9 .436 .298 .719 2.8 2.7 .5 .2 5.0
2009–10 L.A. Lakers 29 0 9.4 .357 .412 .500 1.3 1.4 .3 .0 2.4
2010–11 L.A. Lakers 54 0 9.0 .328 .235 .700 1.2 1.1 .2 .1 1.7
2011–12 L.A. Lakers 9 0 7.2 .429 .000 .000 1.6 .6 .2 .0 1.3
2011–12 Cleveland 21 0 14.2 .353 .438 .000 1.7 1.4 .1 .0 2.0
2012–13 Cleveland 50 0 17.1 .392 .299 .500 2.9 3.3 .8 .3 3.4
Career 564 138 17.2 .429 .326 .715 2.8 2.3 .6 .2 4.7


2004 L.A. Lakers 17 0 7.9 .345 .385 .700 1.3 1.5 .4 .1 1.9
2006 L.A. Lakers 7 7 33.6 .458 .364 1.000 6.4 1.7 1.0 .1 12.1
2007 L.A. Lakers 5 5 25.6 .389 .417 .750 4.2 2.6 1.4 .2 7.2
2008 L.A. Lakers 21 0 16.8 .454 .423 .722 2.6 2.0 .5 .2 6.0
2009 L.A. Lakers 21 0 15.8 .427 .313 .611 2.5 2.1 .7 .1 3.8
2010 L.A. Lakers 16 0 6.0 .304 .222 .500 .5 .9 .1 .1 1.1
2011 L.A. Lakers 1 0 4.0 .000 .000 .000 1.0 .0 .0 .0 .0
Career 88 12 14.6 .420 .360 .701 2.3 1.7 .5 .1 4.3

Head coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
L.A. Lakers 2016–17 82 26 56 .317 4th in Pacific Missed playoffs
L.A. Lakers 2017–18 82 35 47 .427 3rd in Pacific Missed playoffs
Career 164 61 103 .372


  1. ^ a b Pincus, Eric (October 1, 2015). "Former Laker Luke Walton named Warriors' interim head coach". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Warriors Announce Steve Kerr's Coaching Staff". Golden State Warriors. 3 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Tomasson, Chris (2010-06-15). "Bill Walton "I'm Back In The Game Of Life"". Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  4. ^ Wolfson, Maxx (March 7, 2013). "From playing partners to parenthood". Arizona Daily Wildcat. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ Stevenson, Samantha (December 26, 1996). "A Light Shines on Walton Mountain". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 21, 2018. 
  6. ^ Plaschke, Bill (April 29, 2016). "Lakers go back to a sweet spot with hiring of Luke Walton". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-03-27. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  8. ^ "Lakers, Walton agree to six-year, $30 million deal". 1 July 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  9. ^ "Cavaliers Acquire 2012 First Round Pick, Kapono, Walton and Right To Swap 2013 First Round Picks From Lakers". 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  10. ^ "Pastner Recommends Luke Walton For Tigers Hoops Assistant Coach Position". Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  11. ^ "Luke Walton hired as player development coach in D-League :InsideHoops". Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  12. ^ "Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr to Take a Leave of Absence to Focus on Back Rehab". October 1, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Stephen Curry, Warriors beat Grizzlies by 50 — yes, 50". Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  14. ^ Kroichick, Ron (November 5, 2015). "Warriors survive 1st tough test, beat Clippers 112-108". SFGate. 
  15. ^ Simmons, Rusty (November 24, 2015). "Warriors dominate in historic 16th straight win". SFGate. 
  16. ^ "Cavs' Blatt, Warriors' Walton named Coaches of Month" (Press release). NBA. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
  17. ^ Kroichick, Ron (November 4, 2015). "Walton's early success boosts Kerr's career record". SFGate. 
  18. ^ "NBA reportedly considers crediting Luke Walton with Warriors' wins". Sporting News. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  19. ^ "Luke Walton named NBA Coach of the Month despite being 'winless'". ESPN. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  20. ^ Spears, Marc J. (January 22, 2016). "Steve Kerr set to return to coach Warriors". Yahoo Sports. Archived from the original on January 22, 2016. 
  21. ^ Steward, Carl (April 26, 2016). "Warriors' Steve Kerr is NBA's Coach of the Year". The Mercury News. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Lakers Announce Agreement With Luke Walton to Become New Head Coach". April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016. 
  23. ^ Pincus, Eric (October 3, 2013). "Byron Scott and Luke Walton join TWC SportsNet broadcast team". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. 
  24. ^ " > Sports – Walton to make acting debut on 'Young and Restless'". Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  25. ^ Winton, Richard. (2008-12-19) Luke Walton's stalker pleads no contest, sentenced to probation The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  26. ^ Bell, Diane (16 August 2013). "NBA's Luke Walton to marry Saturday in Aspen, Colo". UT San Diego. Retrieved 2015-04-29. 

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