The Los Angeles D-Fenders announced today that the team has hired former Los Angeles Lakers forward Luke Walton as a player development coach.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to the Lakers family,” said Walton. “I’m looking forward to working with the staff to develop young talent that can benefit the D-Fenders and the NBA. The D-Fenders have a proven record of developing top-flight players, and I plan to continue that tradition.”
Known during his playing career as an excellent passer and a cerebral player, Walton's knowledge of the game should prove beneficial in developing the team's young players. Walton acquired some prior coaching experience during the 2011 NBA lockout when he served as an assistant coach on the University of Memphis' basketball staff.
“We are very excited to add Luke to our staff,” said team President Joey Buss. “His championship experience will help build upon the winning culture that has been established with the D-Fenders. His extensive and successful NBA career will allow him to instill the work ethic it requires for our players to reach the NBA.”
Walton has spent the last 11 seasons playing in the NBA with the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. During his career, Walton appeared in 564 career regular season games (138 starts), posting averages of 4.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 17.2 minutes.
“Luke has been a consummate professional throughout his career,” said D-Fenders General Manager Nick Mazzella. “Having played on two Lakers championship teams, Luke is aware of the hard work and type of culture required to win. He will be a valuable mentor to our players and will dedicate himself to improving their basketball skills and advancing their careers. We couldn’t be happier to have him join our talented coaching staff.”
Walton is the third addition to Head Coach Bob MacKinnon’s staff, joining assistant coaches Casey Owens and Thomas Scott.
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services