Last season during Steve Kerr‘s lengthy absence from the Warriors as he recovered from back surgery, interim coach Luke Walton helped lead the team on a historic regular-season charge. He garnered widespread acclaim around the league and eventually parlayed that into a head-coaching gig with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, Kerr’s protege will face off against his mentor when the Lakers meet the Warriors for a preseason match-up in Las Vegas on Saturday. Never one to miss an opportunity to have some fun with reporters and/or opponents, Kerr offered up a cheeky reason for why he’s keeping Andre Iguodala and David West out of the lineup, and Walton immediately responded in kind. Via Mark Medina of The OC Register:
“I want to give Luke (Walton) every opportunity to prepare for tomorrow’s clash,” Kerr joked with reporters.
Walton quickly countered with his own jab.
“You tell Steve that Lou Williams isn’t playing either,” Walton said later, smiling. “So he can have his full opportunity.”
In all seriousness, Walton will certainly have his hands full with this young Lakers squad as they try to climb out of the doldrums, especially when they play teams like the Warriors in earnest during the regular season. He’ll be wishing someone would throw him a bone then.