SAN FRANCISCO – A branch of Steve Kerr’s coaching tree was seen on Sunday.
Luke Walton, Kerr’s staff assistant with the Golden State Warriors from 2014-16, was fired on Sunday by the Sacramento Kings for 17 games in his third season. Sacramento was 6–11 this season and failed to clock a .500 in either of its first two seasons.
“It’s a tough business,” Kerr told his Warriors before going against the Toronto Raptors. “You have to prepare everything to last in this league for a long time. … Luke is one of the finest human beings I know in the NBA. He’s smart, he’s humble, he’s an ally. He’s everything.” Whatever you want in a coach. That’s why I asked him to be an assistant coach here years ago.”
Walton, previously a member of Kerr’s coaching staff, has been fired twice since leaving the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching job in 2016. He has amassed a .408 win percentage and has posted a never-ending winning season since leaving the Warriors.
Kerr, in his lone head coaching job, has a .687 win percentage and three championships to his name.
Arriving in 2014, after the Warriors had drafted Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Drummond Green, Kerr was exposed to the hand he had tackled.
“I am extremely fortunate. We are the exception rather than the rule in this league,” said Kerr. “I am well aware that Steph Curry and Drummond and Klay and Bob Myers have inherited my first job, in the league. Every coach is dependent on his circumstances. By this I mean the brilliance and sustainability of the organisation.”