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Harrison Barnes says Luke Walton’s ability to have guys’ respect will give Kings an opportunity to thrive

Harrison Barnes, Kings

Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes knows new head coach Luke Walton pretty well. Walton was an assistant coach on the Golden State Warriors when Barnes was there. Walton was the interim head coach of the Warriors for the majority of the 2015-16 season when Golden State went 73-9.

Barnes is excited to play for Walton again. The swingman believes the Kings players are going to respect Walton since he played in the NBA and has seen it all:

“One of the greatest attributes as a coach is the ability to relate and connect with his players,” Barnes said, via Jason Jones of The Athletic. “If you can’t reach a locker room, no matter who you’ve got out there, this league has shown you that will not work. So I think his ability to have guys’ respect, to be able to coach in a way, like I said, gives everyone the opportunity to thrive, but also promotes a winning style of basketball.

“It’s just not a free-for-all, a ‘Hey, let’s just go out there and gun for yourself.’ I think that can really help us. That’s the transparency that he has coming from a player to a coach to somebody’s who’s been in every (situation). He’s been the guy at the end of the bench, he’s been the guy who’s had to come in and perform.

“So it’s not hard for him to say ‘I know exactly what you’re going through. No, it’s not like I was a 15-time All-Star, I know everywhere from the bottom up.’ Injuries, whatever that may be. I think that transparency really helps.”

The Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 2006. The team’s core, headlined by De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and Harry Giles, is eager to snap that postseason drought.

Luke Walton went 98-148 in three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Let’s see what he can do with a Kings roster more suited for his preferred style of play.