The Los Angeles Lakers have given its loyal fans a pleasant surprise so far this season, with its youth-oriented core instilling a brand new identity within the franchise.
The Lakers, last known as a franchise built around superstar guard Kobe Bryant, now sport a young, hungry and energetic nucleus of lottery selections. Their players give their all to every contest, and seem to do so even more this season while playing for head coach Luke Walton.
Walton, who was hired by the team in June, played for the Lakers for nine seasons. He was a part of the 2009 and 2010 championship teams that were guided Knicks President Phil Jackson, who had served as head coach at the time.
Many believe Walton has done a spectacular job this season with his young group, but nonetheless, Walton is always seeking ways for improvement. He recently reached out to Phil Jackson for coaching advice, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley:
Lakers coach Luke Walton has reached out to Phil Jackson to talk about coaching recently: “When I call him now, besides his random check-ins, it’s about specific things. I try to get his opinion on how he thinks we should handle something in practice, as far as getting better at certain stuff,” Walton told reporters in Los Angeles, including ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “…. So far he’s batting 100 percent with the advice he gives.”
Walton has guided the Lakers to a respectable 10-15 record through the team’s first 25 games. This roster isn’t built to contend in the present day, but rather to contend somewhere in the future.
Walton has these Lakers contending for the final Playoff seed out West early on, competing with Portland, Denver and Sacramento.
Phil Jackson, while dealing with his own issues over in New York, is widely viewed as a top-3 coach in league history. Despite making some questionable choices as Knicks President, it’s difficult to dispute what he accomplished during his NBA coaching career.
Any advice Luke Walton can receive from Jackson should be appreciated from all sides.
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