The praise for new Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton keeps raining in.
This time, it was center Tarik Black, who reminisced on his time with the young coach in his days at the University of Memphis.
“Luke used to work out with us during the lockout and to see him practice was crazy,” Black said in an interview with UnXommonvegas.com. “You know being young and in college you want to go all out all the time. Just give it your all every workout and Luke really showed us how to do it properly. How to maximize our workout and to lift before we played.”
Black was a sophomore in Memphis when Walton became an assistant coach there as a product of the NBA lockout in 2011.
Walton was avidly hands-on and willing to show players the teachings that were fresh in his head from his NBA days as a Laker.
“He played a ton of three and four ball mostly and to watch him have so much composure really helped me,” said Black. “He helped me learn that next level of basketball and what to really expect. I remember our first conversation was about keeping it going.”
While Black ended up transferring to the University of Kansas for his senior year, he still has plenty of fond memories with Walton, for the short time he was under head coach Josh Pastner.
Walton had a great rapport with players at Golden State and many say his charisma and willingness to listen was a huge reason for the initial 24-0 streak to start the season and the 39-4 record by the time head coach Steve Kerr returned.
There’s no reason to think those great qualities won’t transfer to a young Lakers squad that will surely need harmony between players and coaching staff.