SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It’s official: Luke Walton will be the next head coach for the Sacramento Kings.
Reports surfaced over the weekend that Kings GM Vlade Divac had hired Walton.
Walton was reportedly Divac’s first choice to replace Dave Joerger, who was fired as head coach of the Kings a day after the regular season ended last week.
“I have known Luke for many years and I am so excited to welcome him and his family to the Sacramento Kings,” Divac said in a statement on Monday.
Walton, 39, comes to Sacramento from the Los Angeles Lakers, where he was head coach the past three seasons and compiled a 98-148 record. He also was the interim head coach for the Golden State Warriors during their historic 73-9 season in 2015-16, helping lead them to a 39-4 start.
The son of NBA great Bill Walton, Luke played 11 seasons in the NBA from 2003-2011 – playing for the Lakers and then the Cleveland Cavaliers – before he moved to coaching.
Under Joerger, the Kings steadily improved and even finished with a 39-43 record this past season – their most wins in more than a decade. However, despite staying in contention for most of the season, the Kings faltered late and lost the 8th spot in the Western Conference to the LA Clippers.
Luke Walton will be the Kings’ 10th head coach since Rick Aldeman. The Kings haven’t made the playoffs since Aldeman’s final season in 2005-06.