On Monday, the Sacramento Kings' General Manager Vlade Divac announced Luke Walton as the team's new head coach.
Luke Walton and the Kings didn't take long to move on from their previous relationships. Walton had mutually parted ways with the Los Angeles Lakers just days earlier after three years as their head coach while the Kings had fired Dave Joerger on Thursday after a 39-win season, their best season since 2006.
"We are so excited. ... We are going to build this team together and go to the next level."- NBA TV (@NBATV) April 15, 2019
Vlade Divac welcomes Luke Walton to the @SacramentoKings pic.twitter.com/crTlfS5ZTM
Walton and Divac had played together on the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2004-05 season and the duo met on Saturday, when reports had first come out of their possible partnership, before making it official with this announcement.
In his previous head coaching job, which was the first full-time stint of his coaching career, Walton went 98-148 in three seasons with the Lakers. Leading a young team in his first two years with the Lakers and the most recent year with LeBron James as the leader, Walton never made the postseason.
Set to lead another young team in Sacramento, he could see the Kings' two most recent first-round draft picks - De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III - present at the introductory presser along with few other players.
Royalty, royalty, royalty. pic.twitter.com/005OxGrJEA- Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) April 15, 2019
Prior to the Lakers job, Walton had coaching experience in the NBA D-League (now the G-League) with the Los Angeles D-Fenders during the 2013-14 season as a player development coach. However, he made a mark as an assistant in his two-year stint with the Golden State Warriors from 2014 to 2016.
He won a championship with the Warriors in 2015 and led the team to a 39-4 record, including 24 straight wins, to begin the team's historic 2015-16 season.
As a player, Walton is a 2-time champion with the Lakers (2009, 10) in a decade long playing career where he averaged 4.7 points (.429 FG%, .326 3pt%, .715 FT%), 2.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists through 564 regular season games.
This coming October, Walton will visit India as the Kings and the Indiana Pacers play a couple of preseason games at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai on October 4th and 5th.