SAN FRANCISCO — Steve Kerr’s coaching tree had a branch sawed off Sunday.
Luke Walton, an assistant on Kerr’s staff with the Golden State Warriors from 2014-16, was fired Sunday by the Sacramento Kings, 17 games into his third season. Sacramento was 6-11 this season and failed to eclipse .500 in either of his first two seasons.
“It’s a tough business,” Kerr said before his Warriors tipped off against the Toronto Raptors. “You’ve got to have everything lined up to last for a long time in this league. … Luke is one of the finest human beings I know in the NBA. He’s smart, he’s humble, he’s collaborative. He’s everything that you want in a coach. That’s why I asked him to be an assistant coach here years ago.”
A member of Kerr’s first coaching staff, Walton has been fired twice since leaving to take the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching job in 2016. He has amassed a .408 winning percentage and never posted a winning season since leaving the Warriors.
Kerr, in his lone head coaching job, has a .687 winning percentage and three championships to his name.
Arriving in 2014, after the Warriors had drafted Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Kerr was cognizant of the hand he was dealt.
“I’m extremely lucky. We’re the exception, rather than the rule in this league,” Kerr said. “I’m well aware as someone who inherited Steph Curry and Draymond and Klay and Bob Myers in my first job, every coach in the league is dependent on his circumstances. By that I mean the talent and the stability of the organization.”
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Author: Evan Webeck