When Sean Miller lost his job at Arizona after 12 seasons at the helm of the Wildcats, the rumor mill started churning with names that could possibly step in and take over the program. Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton’s name has already surfaced as speculation about the opening hits a fever pitch.
Following practice on Wednesday, Walton addressed the rumors surrounding his potential candidacy for the job at his alma mater.
"No interest,” Walton said when asked whether he would consider leaving the NBA for Arizona. “I love Arizona and I think Sean Miller did an amazing job there in his time. I have a job. I have a job I love. I have a group I love working with. I'm very committed to being here in Sacramento."
Walton has tallied a 53-70 record in his season and a half in Sacramento. He’s owed a reported $11.5 million over the next two seasons with the Kings, although his tenure has been anything but smooth.
There were rumors of Walton possibly losing his job leading up to the All-Star break, but for now, that noise has quieted down.
Walton’s Kings group currently is mired in a four-game losing streak, but they still sit just two games out of the 10th seed in the Western Conference standings. They are on the outside looking in, but with 21 games remaining, there is still time for Sacramento to get back in the mix.
In the past, Walton has spoken glowingly about his time in Arizona and especially his time with the late great Lute Olson, who coached the program from 1983-2007. Walton played four years in Arizona, including a trip to the Final Four during his junior year.
There are plenty of candidates who should be very interested in the Arizona job. For now, Walton’s hat isn’t in the ring and the focus is getting the Kings back into the playoff picture.