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Exit interviews: Luke Walton has heart-to-heart conversation with Phil Jackson about his reduced role this season

Lkzwtinc

Luke Walton exit interview

Over the years, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson has often joked that he viewed Luke Walton as his "son."

The similarities run strong with both being hungry utility players, enjoying the same kind of music and strongly believing in the principles surrounding the triangle offense.

Walton's exit interview was surely going to be sentimental because of the deep respect they have for each other, but he said he wanted to make sure he didn't avoid talking about the issue that had been bothering him all season: Despite making it through the season without any major injury, Walton was frustrated after playing a career-low nine minutes, contributing 1.9 points on 32.8% shooting.

"[Jackson said] his game plan was to have a second unit at a much faster speed than the first unit," Walton said. "I'm more of a bring-it-up-and-run-the-offense. That left me out of the rotation a bit."

Walton said the situation by no means soured his relationship with Jackson, and in fact was the reason he brought it up, knowing he could be upfront and honest with the coach without any consequences.

"He's a great coach and a great man," Walton said. "I've learned so much from him as far as my eight years and basketball is concerned," Walton said. "I learned from him growing up as a person and the way I lived my life and watching him and talking to him. Seeing all of his kids at the game and knowing it was his last run, it was tough not to send the guy out on top."

Among the other highlights of Walton's exit interview

--He strongly endorsed Brian Shaw to be the Lakers' next coach, and argued that the Lakers need to keep running the triangle.

--He questioned Magic Johnson's assertions that the Lakers need to be "blown up," citing the team's championships titles in 1985 and then in 1987 and 1988 after losing in the 1986 Western Conference finals to Houston: "I don’t see how it's any different from that. ... We had a bad year, and we're all upset about it. Everyone is angry ... and it hurts. It's a deep, empty hole right now. It's going to be a long summer dealing with that. [But] I don't see why any reason why the team can't come back."

--He faulted the team for running the installed defensive scheme too inconsistently and only running a "basic" version of the triangle.

--He indicated that it was easier said than done to have "intense practices," as Andrew Bynum said he wanted, because of the team's injuries and basketball mileage. He made it clear that the team didn't just mess around in practice, saying Jackson's sessions were very comprehensive.

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers forward Luke Walton reflects on the season as he answers reporter's questions about the Lakers season ending and his future with the team at the Laker's practice facility in El Segundo Tuesday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
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LALakers213,
You thought I forgot what I told you last Friday 05-05-11? Remember I will get back to you on Monday, I'm a day late but here it is...........I TOLD YOU SO!!!
If you don't remember what we've talk about I will repost it again if you like.

DEAR LUKE,

Ok . Ok . OK. YOU are here ONLY for CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS. RESULTS RESULTS RESULTS!!! NOT TO BE A N ADOPTED SON OF THE GREATEST COACH OF ALL SPORTS BUT SIMPLY TO BE PRODUCE BUT YOU DID NOT DO THAT... IF YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE OR FAIR, YOU WOULD ADJUST YOUR SALARY MUCH MUCH MUCH LESSER THAN WHAT YOU ARE GETTING!!!

Let go of Pau, Odom, and possibly Bynum FOR Dwight Howard, CP3, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, KEVIN DURANT....

And KOBE NEEDS TO CUT HIS SALARY LESS THAN HALF SO THAT HE CAN GET A-LISTS PLAYERS TO HELP HIM AT LEAST 5 MORE YEARS!!!!

DEAR KOBE,

I WILL GIVE YOU STOCK OPTIONS (OWNERSHIP) IN MY INTERNET COMPANY AS A COMPENSATION 1.5 X THAN WHAT YOU ARE GETTING AS AN NBA PLAYER AS LONG YOU GIVE ROOM FOR THE LAKERS ORGANIZATION TO ACQUIRE DWIGHT HOWARD, CP3, KEVIN LOVE, BLAKE GRIFFIN, OR KEVIN DURANT(NEXT 2 TO 3 YEARS).

get back to me at marybchandler@gmail.com.

I am soooo DISGUSTED, WE NEED TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS NOW NOW NOW!!!!

Is Luke Walton a permanent fixture on this Laker team? When will we be able to say............."Ladies and Gentleman..............The Luke Walton era in Laker basketball is over............Finally?"


We are finally starting to see the real Luke Walton...................putting himself above what is best for the Lakers team. "Don't blow up the team"........."continue running the triangle"

Luke Walton....................Your days of living on Welfare is over............Time for you to earn your keep and get a real job.................hopefully there is something you can do after sponging off of your "Dad" all these years.

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Sorry Luke, but it's time to go.

Exit interviews in May. 'nuff said.

Interesting...Walton sounds more like a coach every year. I can see Walton's view on practice, but intensity doesn't necessarily mean running, it could be raising the level of honest, constructive criticism as well.


I know I'll most likely get flayed alive for this...but I feel like Luke could've really helped stabilize the play of Barnes and Brown while taking the play making burden off of Steve Blake. Walton makes solid entry passes into the post making it easier on Gasol and Bynum and reducing the number of lofted passes that Brown hucks down low and he's a better defender than given credit for. Fast and quick? Nope, not in the slightest.

@Mary Chandler - Thanks for thinking I'm nice, don't recognize you from when I was a maniacal poster for the last couple of years, but I have to disagree on our competitive level. We were assuredly NOT competitive in Game 2 or 4 but we were in games 1 and 3 until the final buzzer. A call or two goes the other way, a ball bounces different, Kobe hits a wide open 3, wed be sitting here chatting about tonight's game. Phil himself has claimed luck as much as anything else has been a foundation for his multiple success. By luck, I mean the way a ball bounces or the way a call is made.


The core of our team has competed for the NBA champi0nship three years in a row and won it twice. We lost this series in our minds, not in our bodies. The only one whose body is betraying him is Kobe and I say this with conviction based on his in game activity. Once he had to drive into the lane against Chandler and Haywood, he stopped driving to the rim. Kobe is afraid of nothing except losing. I can only guess at this, but I would say he felt he wouldn't get calls (true) or be able to get quality shots off over the Mavs tandem at the 5 spot. That points to a lack of physical ability because nobody here questions Kobe's competitive drive or mental fortitude.


Look, not only did the Lakers core team play in more NBA games than any other team in the league, Kobe and Pau played in the Olympics and world qualifiers two years ago, Lamar played in the world tourney last year and Gasol had to shoulder an extra load early in the season from which, I think it's safe to say, he never fully recovered from. Did his off the court drama effect his play? Probably, but he stuck with it and gave it his best. The results were not very desirable, but c'mon, man! Dude just helped us win it back to back! Throwing him under the bus now is very modern American of the Blog. Like people are disposable. Nobody clamored to trade Worthy, Coop or Magic when they lost to Houston, Detroit or the Bulls, right? Hell, to even bring it up on the Blog would invite scalding critiques of that person's sanity. Is Gasol not as iconic as at least Cooper or Byron Scott? Did he not do more than those guys to help us win it all...twice?


We need to get more focused on defense than we ever were in the playoffs and we need a bench that has some level of reliability. That's about it. Sahsa Vujacic, anyone?

I just had my handle jacked.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Luke Walton is a fixture for 2 more seasons.

@ Posted by: rafancio | May 10, 2011 at 01:11 PM

dude i was looking for you here yesterday! ahah but yea yea yea yea and yea we know we know, our team got swept by the idiotic Mavs, that make me barf every time i saw "dumbo" terry hit another 3 pointer that went in!

yes, you guessed they would fall and they did! my friend my hats off to you for being such a lakers fan and not giving up on your team since day 1! lol i was here yesterday but i tought you wouldnt show up to make us feel even wrose lol am a man of my word and so are you!

are you happy now?
once again congrats to you sir! good guessing skills!

1!2!3! Lakers all the way!!

Posted by: rafancio | May 10, 2011 at 01:11 PM

This moderation kills, make sure you read this thread for my comments, I left a nice post, hope it gets posted, if not ill post it again! but man this moderation thing is getting annoying alread! grrrr

Walton's got one more year, maybe a year and a half. Then he'll be a tradeable asset due to his expiring contract.

He's a smart basketball player and a great passer. He has had his moments but his body has betrayed him. He's taking up valuable roster space and cash right now, as a result of a deal that had too many years on it to begin with.

But as the Logo hinted, this team may *have* to remain intact for the next season, maybe two, due to the relative lack of tradeable assets.

LUKE is a LAKER 4 LIFE!!!! Right there with Magic and Kobe

I AM SOOO SURE NO ONE WANTS TO TAKE OUR BENCH!!! LOL!

No one wants to take Ron Artest too...

I agree with Luke and think Magic (my favorite Laker of all time) threw his team under the bus. Very lame
Every year in the 80's we heard why the Lakers wouldn't ge back to the Finals. They always came back hungry. I think we could all agree that the Lakers could have easily won 5 or 6 more games making them a 60 plus win team with home court through out the playoffs. They ran out of steam just like they did after the three championships earlier in the decade and just like they did going for the three peat in the 80's(injuries happen to tired legs). They are not to old they just need a new focus. Kobe has got to look at the finger because that wrap causes a ton of turnovers not to mention affecting his shot. Gotta fix whatever off court issues came up and make moves if they will help improve the team. I'm all for Howard or D-Will if they can make it happen. For coach I vote for Shaw or Adelman with a slight edge to Rick.

for the love of God and for the City of L.A., LUKE PLEASE RETIRE ALREADY!

THERE IS NO JUSTICE HERE WITH YOU BEING ONE OF THE PLAYERS..... WHY CAN'T YOU JOIN THE COACHING STAFF... THAT WILL SATISFY EVERYTHING YOU HIJACKING LA's ROSTER.

FISHER,
GO AND JOIN THE COACHING STAFF ALREADY! THIS WILL GET YOU ANOTHER FORM OF CHAMPIONSHIP RING BEING ONE OF THE STAFF.

Mitch Kupchak is incompetent…TERMINATE him!

Posted by: mary chandler

are you Tyson Chandlers GF or wife? lol just curious!

Maybe because there is just absolutely NOTHING else that Luke does well we all got DUPED in this MYTH about Luke Walton:

The MYTH about Luke Walton is this: that he is a good passer!

Bull crap! If anybody has seen game 4 against the Mavs and saw Luke in action during garbage time they would have seen TWO very, very STOOPID passes that Luke made that became turnovers.

He tried to thread the needle but he is no Magic and he threw the ball into a crowd -of mostly Mavs.

Enough already with this MYTH that Luke Walton is a good passer.

He is NOT!

Sweet, evey one of the Lakers were spent. They had been since the Celtics' series last June. They showed it all this year, tanking game after game utterly exhausted, saving it for play right up to Father's Day, except they could only take it to the other parent. Except Luke. Who maybe, if he joins the coaching staff, of some other team---to hell with the triangle, Lukie---he could forego his contract and free up some space for Chris Paul, who they need to steal and sign to a lifetime contract.

Interesting, too, Luke calling ObiWan, and not Bill, his father. Issues there. Luke is one mixed-up boy.

Sweet, evey one of the Lakers were spent. They had been since the Celtics' series last June. They showed it all this year, tanking game after game utterly exhausted, saving it for play right up to Father's Day, except they could only take it to the other parent. Except Luke. Who maybe, if he joins the coaching staff, of some other team---to hell with the triangle, Lukie---he could forego his contract and free up some space for Chris Paul, who they need to steal and sign to a lifetime contract.

Interesting, too, Luke calling ObiWan, and not Bill, his father. Issues there. Luke is one mixed-up boy.

This team needs a defensive minded coach they all respect... like a Jerry Sloan... or dare i say... Pat Riley again... That would be hilarious if they brought Riley back to coach this team and leave the team that is competing for titles seemingly earlier than most expected.

That would totally be the icing... Riley coaches Lakers back to Championship over the Heat.

Artest is too dumb to run the *actual* triangle

jeff van gundy is a no nonsense guy. does he want back in the nba?

They don't even need a triangle coach to keep running the triangle. Most of the players know it. It's really not that complicated.

They could also abandon it and I think most fans wouldn't even notice the difference.

When everyone was talking about a trade this year to upgrade the team even considering melo the 800-pound gorilla in the middle of the room was Luke. The inner circle of Bill Walton in the Lakers organization keeps him on the team. Dude, do us a favor, retire and go sell cars with your old man. If you try to be on the team next year your just being selfish.

Luke passed the ball to Dallas player in game 4, he did not know who is the Lakers player . I think the best place for Luke is Minnesota, Rambis runs trial angle offense, and Luke will help them.

I've knocked cool hand Luke as much as anybody, probably more, but I won't knock him while he's down.


One day he may make a good coach.


He's a lousy ballplayer, though.


I blame KUPCAKES, not cool hands, for that ASININE 6-year contract. It's not Luke's fault Kupcakes is brain dead. Would you turn down 6 million a year for court-side seats?

I just wish Luke would spend this entire summer developing an outside shot. Eight years into the league and no outside shot. That's the biggest indictment on Lucas Walton.


Just look at Jason Kidd, who was once a HORRIBLE ouside shooter. Now, he's 3rd all-time in 3-point shots! Luke, get up 5 am every morning this summer, hit the freaking gym and stay there 'till the sun goes down and hit a thousand shots a day!


EARN YOUR MONEY,


FREAKING PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE!!!!

He's not too athletic and is great at running the triangle so it's not surprising that he disagrees with Magic. Ditto for Fisher.

During the interview, someone's phone goes off. What song was that playing?! It's killin' me!

Luke Walton is a good player. When he is on the court he is good but we, unfortunately, don't get to see that because he is always on the bench. The worse thing is that he makes 6.5 million a year for just sitting there. He needs to be traded to a team where his true talent can be seen for his and the teams sake. Its kinda like the Gallinari thing where on the Knicks he was sometimes ridiculed by people and now on the nuggets he is really needed and an asset. Despite it being a large change and hard one but at least we get to see his talent. He needs to be somewhere where he can earn his pay, not just sit there.

Walton at 6'8" should never allow a small guard to block his shot but it happens all the time. He is a nice fellow and all but he probably couldn't compete with some of the guys i watch play at the YMCA. He's just nothing like his old man.


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