‘Winless’ Luke Walton Named NBA Coach Of The Month
Luke Walton, the Golden State Warriors’ interim coach, has been honored with the Western Conference NBA Coach of the Month award. The million-dollar question: How can a coach with a 0-0 record receive such an award?Advertisement
According to NBA regulations, an interim coach’s record isn’t officially registered. In other words, injured coach Steve Kerr gets all the credit for the Warriors’ 19-0 streak. Baffling, isn’t it?
The NBA released a statement early Tuesday, reiterating its stance. “The NBA clarified today the league’s rules regarding coaching records: the head coach of record is credited with team wins and losses. Steve Kerr remains the head coach of record for the Golden State Warriors and is credited with those results,” the league said in a statement.
Walton, out of respect for Kerr, is fine being winless. “Steve’s done a lot for me. It’s the least I can do to add a couple wins on his total for him with all he’s done for me.”
Kerr, still recovering from a spinal fluid leak, isn’t surprised that his substitute has stepped in admirably. “I knew Luke would be a great coach when I hired him, but there is a huge jump from being a one-year assistant to being a head coach,” the Warriors coach said Tuesday.
Kerr said he can relate to Walton. “I went through the same jump without even being an assistant. This stuff always comes down to talent. Do you have the talent? We have great talent. That’s why we were the champs last year and why we’re off to a great start this season.”
Last week, Kerr slammed the NBA regulations for not recognizing Walton’s record. “I think it’s ridiculous. I’m sitting in the locker room and watching the games on TV, and I’m not even traveling to most of the road games. Luke’s doing all the work with the rest of the staff. Luke is 19-0 right now. I’m not. So it’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, to be honest with you. I don’t even understand it.”
David Blatt, the Cleveland Cavaliers coach, was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month. When asked if ‘interim coach’ Walton deserved the win, Blatt said, “It’s an interesting question. But for what it’s worth I think Luke has done a fabulous job, not only in terms of what they’ve done with their winning streak, but to step in and replace Steve (Kerr).”
Walton won two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010. He was hired as Kerr’s assistant coach last season after the Golden State Warriors fired Mark Jackson.