When you see Luke Walton in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, the dude looks like he could still play 15 minutes a night for an NBA team. After all, the former Los Angeles Laker is only 36 years old, by far the youngest head coach in the NBA, and his youth allows him to mix it up with his players during practice instead of simply watching from the sidelines with his arms folded, like Byron Scott.
A lot of words have been written about how Walton’s age allows him to connect with his roster of barely-20-year-olds, and going 100 percent on defense in practice is a prime example.
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In a video clip tweeted by the Lakers, Walton smothers Tarik Black in the post, forcing him to miss a layup, then slams the basketball down in delight. Next up is Thomas Robinson, who gives Walton a forearm shiver as he backs him down in the post, sending Walton flying to floor in what definitely was a flop but which Walton called a charge. Finally, after Walton locks down Julius Randle for a good five seconds, Randle finally fakes him out and gets under and around him for a layup.
You want to know why the Lakers are 4-4, fresh off beating the Golden State Warriors and having a blast doing it? Look no further than Coach Walton.