Steve Kerr feels bad for Luke Walton, LeBron James, Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers have suffered through a surprisingly disappointing 2018-19 campaign in LeBron James’ first season with the team, and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr cannot help but feel bad for everyone involved given the surprising turn of events.
With James shut down with a lingering groin injury cited as the reason — although it made little sense for him to play anyway — the Lakers are left to figure out what went wrong in a season that began with so much promise.
While there were a few holdouts among NBA insiders and analysts — one in particular — who suspected the LeBron-led Lakers would struggle this season, many believed the team would at the very least qualify for the postseason.
That of course did not come to fruition, and Kerr — whose Warriors face the Lakers Thursday night at Staples Center — says it’s disappointing how everything played out, especially for someone who boasts the pedigree of James.
Steve Kerr on the weird feeling he has that LeBron James won’t be playing in the playoffs. Kerr also praises Luke Walton for how he has handled this season pic.twitter.com/re0V8r6QVm— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 4, 2019
“We got so used to playing him in Cleveland, so when a star player changes uniforms, it always takes a little while to get used to,” Kerr said of James. “I’m disappointed for him and for the Lakers. I want everybody to be healthy every year. It’s better for the league, it’s better for all the people involved.
“Luke [Walton] is one of my best friends, and it’s been a tough season to try to navigate. I feel bad for everybody involved, but as I said, it’s sort of part of [the job].”
Kerr of course has a close relationship with Walton, who served as a Warriors assistant for two seasons, a tenure during which he posted a 39-4 record as an interim head coach in 2015-16 in a sidelined Kerr’s stead.
It must be difficult for Kerr to watch how his protégé was run through the wringer this season and will most certainly be fired at season’s end.