LeBron James’ arrival to the Los Angeles Lakers is sure to bring nothing but positives to the entire organization. But that’s not to say it won’t have its own unique challenges. Luke Walton, especially, will be tasked with creating a contender for James and the Lakers and will likely be the first person questioned during a potential losing streak.
That’s why Walton will need all the help he can get. That’s going to start with a meeting between him, assistant coach Brian Shaw, and Cavs coach Tyronn Lue.
Lue said he plans to meet with Walton and Lakers associate head coach Brian Shaw — who was Lue’s Lakers teammate for two seasons — in Las Vegas this week to discuss over dinner their new coaching challenge.
“I’ll just tell them LeBron’s easy,” Lue said. “People get this whole thing built up like he’s hard to coach. It’s not. LeBron’s not the problem. It’s the outside tension that’s the problem. Just put added pressure immediately on the coaches, on his teammates. Now everything you do is under a microscope. … So it’s going to be a totally different change for the Lakers. They’ll be able to handle it.
“LeBron is easy to play with, very unselfish. LeBron can bring guys along, make sure they’re doing the right thing. It’s going to be good. The outside is what you’ve gotta be able to block out.”
That’s a really promising sign for Walton. He’s still not very seasoned as a head coach, despite having led a high-profile Warriors team to an incredible regular season run. Having Lue’s help should allow Walton and the Lakers to hit the ground running with a gameplan suited for LeBron.
Lue and Shaw were Lakers teammates on the championship-winning Lakers during the early 2000’s.
James has reportedly expressed his desire to change his playing style. That ranges from playing in the post more and just being off the ball more in general. While Lue’s teams relied heavily on James handling the ball and creating offense, he should still be able to give valuable insight into how Walton can not only manage James but the noise from the media and fans.