Kerr doesn't approve of Walton's Lakers exit
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said the Los Angeles Lakers have lost "one of the best human beings" after Luke Walton's departure.
The Lakers and third-year coach Walton agreed to mutually part ways on Friday following a tumultuous season.
Los Angeles missed the playoffs again despite LeBron James' arrival, while Magic Johnson stepped down as team president on Tuesday.
Kerr addressed Walton's exit on Friday, telling reporters: "I'm disappointed for Luke. In this job, as a coach in the NBA, you are 100 per cent dependent on your circumstances — the strength of your organisation, the momentum, the unity.
"Everything has to be in good order. If it's not, as we have witnessed with the Lakers, then there's going to be casualties and usually the coach is the first one.
"They're losing one of the best human beings in the NBA, they're losing a guy who knows the game as well as anybody I've ever met."
The Los Angeles Lakers and Luke Walton have mutually agreed to part ways.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 12, 2019
"We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years," said General Manager Rob Pelinka. "We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward." https://t.co/3cgU3WPgnJ
Walton was an assistant on Golden State's staff from 2014 to 2016. He served as the interim head coach of the Warriors, leading them to an NBA record 24-0 start and 39-4 win-loss ratio before Kerr returned from health issues.
The Warriors finished 2015-16 with a 73-9 mark – an NBA record. Kerr was named the NBA's Coach of the Year that season, despite being present for fewer games than Walton.
Walton went 98-148 in his three years with the Lakers and said Los Angeles would always be "special" to him and his family in a statement following his release.
The Lakers finished 2018-19 with a 37-45 record, missing the playoffs for the sixth successive season.