Now that the 2015-2016 NBA season is over, Luke Walton will be leaving the Golden State Warriors to take on his new job as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors, on the other hand, are expected to hire former Lakers coach Mike Brown to assist Steve Kerr.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, originally, the Warriors were considering Brown and former Sacramento Kings coach Tyrone Corbin for the position. However, on June 25, just days after the 2016 NBA Draft, Corbin was signed by the Phoenix Suns to assist head coach Earl Watson.
This means Brown is now the top contender for the Warriors' assistant coach position.
"Ty Corbin going to Phoenix has made Mike Brown a strong contender to land on Steve Kerr's Warriors bench next season, coaching sources say," Stein tweeted.
Brown began his professional coaching career in the NBA after he was hired as the assistant of Gregg Popovich to help out with the San Antonio Spurs. After helping the team land a championship in 2003, he transferred to the Indiana Pacers and was able to assist in leading them to the playoffs in 2004.
A year later, Brown became the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and replaced Brendan Malone. He stayed with the team until 2010 and joined the Lakers as the successor of Phil Jackson in 2011.
Brown then returned to Cleveland in 2013 but was once again released in 2014.
During his entire coaching career, Brown has been known for his focus on defense. If the Warriors decide to hire him, then this could mean that the team is aiming to mold a more defensive group for next season.
As for Walton, his deal with the Lakers was finalized in May of this year, as reported by USA Today. Upon learning about the news, his mentor, Kerr, congratulated him for his new job as head coach of the LA franchise.
"I'm incredibly happy for Luke," he said. "As we witnessed earlier this season, he has all of the intangibles necessary to be an outstanding head coach in this league, including a terrific understanding of the game [and] the ability to communicate with a wide range of people."
"He's certainly ready for this opportunity and I'm confident he'll do a great job with the Lakers once our season is complete," Kerr added.