The addition of All-Star forward LeBron James has put the Los Angeles Lakers in a unique position of possibly making a significant leap forward toward being a top-tier team in the stacked Western Conference.
A major part of this puzzle will be head coach Luke Walton‘s interactions and coaching style with this newly formed roster headlined by James. During the Lakers’ summer league game against the Knicks, Walton voiced to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com that he plans on doing whatever it takes to establish a strong relationship with the 33-year-old ahead this upcoming season.
Luke Walton on getting the chance to coach LeBron James: "I'll do everything I can to get to know him and letting him get to know me. I am looking forward to that." (h/t @SpectrumSN) #lakers #LakeShow
— Bob Garcia IV (@bgarciaivsports) July 11, 2018
Since taking over as the head coach of the Lakers, this is the first time that Walton has had the chance to coach a player of James’ caliber that can single-handedly change the fortunes of the franchise. He is arguably the best player in the league still playing at an MVP-caliber level after his first 15 seasons. James is a rare talent that has continued to show no decline in his performance on the court that has helped experience a tremendous amount of success throughout his illustrious career.
At the same, this has elevated the level of expectations anywhere he goes in his NBA career especially given that he has taken his team to eight straight NBA Finals. This should put a huge amount of pressure on Walton’s shoulders to help guide the Lakers to much success with James leading the charge offensively. This may be the first time in his career where he is truly judged on his coaching with a team that could possibly truly contend in the Western Conference.
With all that in mind, the addition of James has put forth a situation where the Lakers are finally firmly back in the spotlight with a huge amount of expectation laid upon Walton’s shoulders to prove that he’s the right coach in place.