Luke Walton, LeBron James texted as he committed to Lakers
Contrary to an earlier report claiming Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton and new superstar signing LeBron James had “zero contact” as he committed to L.A., the two “had actually communicated via text message,” according to Bill Oram of The Athletic.
The Lakers are confident that James has enough belief in Walton, ironically his former 2003 draftmate on the bench, though the backlash had already been dealt.
Only five other men have ever coached James and know what it takes to handle a star of that magnitude. Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown coached James and knows exactly what it’s like to be in that pressure cooker.
“We used to get killed,” Brown said this week at the NBA’s Summer League. “Everybody used to say, ‘You have no control over your team, they’re dancing. LeBron controls the team, he wants to dance.’ And I’m like, ‘What? Are you kidding me?’ But that’s what comes along with coaching LeBron.”
“If he happens to wear a different shoestring, it’s, ‘What’s wrong with Bron?’” Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said while the Cavaliers summer team played the Pacers on Monday. “If he happens to wear a different wristband, ‘What’s wrong with Bron?’ It’s always a story.”
Walton has slowly progressed during his two seasons with the Lakers, proving he’s able to manage a young team and bring success. Yet the pressure to deliver results will be tighter than ever, and being on the same wavelength as James will prove just as important for the young coach as racking up the Ws through a long 82-game season.