HoopsHype Luke Walton rumors

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The Knicks already have received permission to talk with Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis. Although he said he has talked with Fisher and Jackson since the hire, former Lakers forward Luke Walton told this newspaper in an interview on Tuesday that he is “absolutely” interested in joining Fisher’s staff. Los Angeles Daily News

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Luke Walton says that he spoke with Phil Jackson about accepting a coaching position with the Knicks while Jackson was courting current Golden State coach Steve Kerr. But Walton hasn't talked to Jackson since Kerr turned down the Knicks and accepted a head coaching position with the Warriors. Jackson has, however, told Walton, an ex-Laker, that he'd make a "great coach someday." "I've talked to Phil a bunch; thought about different things and I've talked to him in the past about coaching," Walton said Friday during an interview on ESPN Radio's "The Herd with Colin Cowherd." "He's told me he thinks that I'll be a great coach someday." ESPN.com

June 2, 2014 Updates

Rambis, who worked as an assistant to the ousted Mike D'Antoni with the Lakers last season, and current D-League developmental coach Luke Walton of the L.A. D-Fenders are on Jackson's short list as well. But sources say Rambis and Walton are more likely regarded as potential assistants for the eventual head coach, with another of Jackson's former players with head-coaching experience -- Bill Cartwright -- having already received an interview for what was presumed to be a spot on Kerr's bench/p . Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue, who played briefly under Jackson as a Laker and has interviewed for the Cleveland Cavaliers' coaching vacancy, has also been mentioned repeatedly as a name on Jackson's radar. ESPN.com

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With that message from his old coach in his head and with the memories of a resurgent 2012-13 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers fresh in his mind, Walton is not announcing his retirement and turning in his sneakers for a microphone. "I want to play still," said Walton, who has already met with the Lakers' D-League affiliate, the L.A. D-Fenders, to discuss fulfilling a player development role that will allow him to work out with the team along with his TV duties. "I’ve trained all summer as if I was going to get a call. The call never came, so, I’m going to keep working out ... If nothing happens this year, then I’ll probably admit that it’s officially over." ESPN.com

But it was his friendship with Time Warner Cable anchor Chris McGee, who is so close to Walton that he was the emcee at Walton's wedding this past summer, that led to his latest career exploration. Station executives asked McGee to gauge Walton's interest, and the man who made it to four Finals in his 8½ years with the Lakers was intrigued. "For me, I’d be sitting on the couch watching Lakers games anyway, so I might as well do this and try something new and have fun with it and experience it," Walton said, who joins Byron Scott -- his coach in Cleveland -- as a new addition to the TWC SportsNet staff. It gives both Walton and the Lakers the chance to redo their working relationship that ended unceremoniously with him being sent to Cleveland in a deal to acquire Ramon Sessions back on the trade deadline in March 2012. ESPN.com

Walton is aware that his father, Bill Walton, who has been broadcasting professionally for more than 20 years, already established a reputation for being barb-tongued, but he thinks his on-air presence will be much different. "I think I have to look at it similar to our playing careers," Walton said. "When I was coming up through the ranks in high school and people were always comparing him to me, I used to struggle with it until I just made the decision, ‘Look, I’m playing. This is who I am. This is what I do and I’m playing this game for me.’ I think that’s what I’ll have to do in broadcasting or television as well because our personalities are completely different. "I mean, I used to bring the guy in to talk at my camps and tell him he had an hour, and an hour and 45 minutes later we’re literally physically taking him off the court like, ‘We have to get camp going.’ And that’s not me. I don’t want to talk for an hour and a half." ESPN.com

October 3, 2013 Updates

Time Warner Cable SportsNet is excited to announce that Lakers legend Byron Scott and Lakers favorite Luke Walton have joined the network’s on-air team. The two have 39 years of combined NBA experience and five Lakers NBA Championship rings and Walton played in the NBA as recently as last season. Scott and Walton join former Lakers James Worthy and Robert Horry to give Time Warner Cable SportsNet a total of 15 NBA Championships and members of Lakers teams from the past four decades. NBA.com

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