Luke Walton

Luke Walton 'missed the corn hole' because of LeBron's decision

Luke Walton 'missed the corn hole' because of LeBron's decision

Where were you on Sunday, July 1 when LeBron James rocked the basketball world by announcing he was joining the Lakers?

Former Warriors assistant coach and current Lakers head coach Luke Walton had just returned to his Manhattan Beach home and was getting ready for a family barbecue ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

"I had just gotten back from the office, it was a beautiful Manhattan Beach day, and we had just opened up the pool cover and were getting ready to have a nice Sunday barbecue with a couple friends. We had corn hole being played in the backyard," Walton told ESPN recently.

That's when the career-changing news came down. LeBron's Klutch Sports Group had announced on Twitter that he had agreed to a four-year deal with the Lakers.

The news curtailed Walton's fun Sunday afternoon plans.

"I think I spent the next eight-and-a-half hours on the telephone. Missed my whole Sunday family barbecue. Missed the corn hole. The kids were already asleep by the time I got done taking calls," Walton said.

Now in his third season as Lakers head coach, Walton has a chance to be a part of his childhood team's return to the top of the NBA. He completely understands what it means to have a megastar like LeBron playing under the bright lights in Los Angeles.

"It's gonna be completely nuts, but it's also gonna be awesome. The whole city's gonna be behind us. We're gonna be on SportsCenter every night. If we lose, it's gonna be the end of the world. If we win, it's gonna be wild. But no matter what, it's gonna be fun," Walton said.

When the crazieness had settled down, Walton finally had a chance to reflect on what had just happened.

"I sat under the stars and said to myself, 'Damn, we got LeBron James on our team. The best player in the world is a Laker,'" Walton said.

Ty Lue shares advice to Luke Walton regarding LeBron James: 'He's not like that'

Ty Lue shares advice to Luke Walton regarding LeBron James: 'He's not like that'

In the middle of the 2015-16 season, the Cavs fired David Blatt as head coach and promoted associate head coach Tyronn Lue to fill the vacancy. It was Lue's first head coaching gig and he was put in charge of LeBron James.

The first call Lue made, according to ESPN, was to James' former coach with the Heat, Erik Spoelstra.

Now that James has moved on from the Cavs to the Lakers, Lue is paying it forward as he will meet with Lakers head coach Luke Walton Monday in Las Vegas. Both coaches are attending the NBA Summer League.

What is Lue planning to tell Walton about James? He shared that with ESPN on Monday.

"I just want to let him know, the s--- that people say and you read, Bron's not like that. Like, they make it seem like he's hard on the coach, he's hard on [the organization]. He's nothing like that. That's the most important thing I want to convey with him: that he's not like that. My biggest thing is the zoo comes from just the outside media. It's really not coming from within because everybody he deals with -- Maverick [Carter], Randy [Mims], all those guys -- are professional. So it won't be no problem from any of those guys, and Bron carries himself the right way. So the biggest part is just having to deal with the media scrutiny. But he's not like that. I don't want people thinking Bron's an a------ or Bron's this and that because he's not."

James announced on July 1 that he had agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers. After 15 seasons in the Eastern Conference, it will be his first venture out west.

Walton is entering his third season as the Lakers head coach. Prior to taking the job in Los Angeles, he spent two season as an assistant coach for Steve Kerr. During his time with the Warriors, Walton stepped in when Kerr dealt with the side effects from back surgery and guided the Warriors to a 39-4 mark before Kerr returned to the bench.

Report: LeBron had 'zero contact' with Luke Walton during recruitment

Report: LeBron had 'zero contact' with Luke Walton during recruitment

Back in 2003, LeBron James was taken by the Cavs with the No. 1 overall pick. Luke Walton went 31 picks later by the Lakers at No. 32.

Fast-forward 15 years and Walton is set to become LeBron's head coach after the four-time MVP agreed to join the Lakers on Sunday.

But it appears Walton had no part in helping to bring LeBron to Los Angeles.

LeBron and Walton had "zero contact" during the recruitment process, according to Yahoo Sports' Jordan Schultz.

Walton, who is entering his third season as Lakers coach, has a tall task ahead of him. Instead of coaching a young team just hoping to break .500, he's now in charge of a LeBron-led squad expected to make the playoffs and compete for an NBA championship.

Before taking the Lakers job, Walton spent two seasons as an assistant coach for Steve Kerr with the Warriors. During the 2015-16 season, his last with the Warriors, Walton guided the Warriors to a 39-4 record while Kerr dealt with complications from back surgery.

In two seasons with the Lakers, Walton has amassed a 61-103 record.