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Luke Walton to be a college coach in Memphis during NBA lockout

Lukewalton Luke Walton is already looking past his playing career.

The Lakers' forward has two more years and $11.5 million on his contract, but he agreed Monday to become an assistant coach with the University of Memphis until the NBA lockout ends.

"Luke is going to bring great excitement and great energy to the Tigers program, and we’re thrilled to have him," University of Memphis Coach Josh Pastner said. "Luke is someone who has not only played for, but also learned from, arguably one of the greatest coaches in basketball history in Phil Jackson. Luke’s also played with and against the best of the best at the highest level of basketball in the NBA."

The hiring is pending approval by the university and the state of Tennessee board of regents. Former NBA player Damon Stoudamire has also joined Pastner's coaching staff.

Walton, 31, has played sparingly for the Lakers the last two years because of recurring back problems and a logjam at small forward. He averaged 1.7 points and nine minutes in 54 games last season.

He has played eight seasons for the Lakers and won two championships.

-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Luke Walton handles the ball in a Lakers-Spurs game in April at Staples Center. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

 
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