The Los Angeles Lakers filled their head coaching vacancy on Friday night, stealing coveted assistant Luke Walton from the Golden State Warriors.

Walton appeared to be the favorite throughout the Lakers’ hiring process. The 36-year-old’s stock skyrocketed after he led the Warriors to a 39-4 regular season start, the second-best in league history. The Warriors very much looked to be the same team in Kerr’s absence, which was a huge plus for Walton. He was also the obvious candidate, having played his entire career in Los Angeles under Phil Jackson, and having a great relationship with the Buss family.

Now, Walton steps into a Lakers franchise which has never been in a deeper hole. The team is coming off of a 17-65 season, the worst mark in franchise history. Walton had the benefit of being able to make mistakes while coaching such a talented Warriors team in Kerr’s absence. That won’t be the case in Los Angeles.

About Harry Lyles Jr.

Harry Lyles Jr. is an Atlanta-based writer, and a Georgia State University graduate.