Luke Walton, throughout his time with the Warriors Summer League squad in Vegas, remained composed and measured.
His response to every question was that of a weathered professional. Every piece of praise. Every desire to improve.
Given the opportunity to be a head coach, he excelled.
And now, with the departure of Alvin Gentry to the New Orleans Pelicans, it seems as if the Warriors have found the right man to step in and fill that role in the coaching staff.
Being told that #Warriors will in fact stay in-house with coaching moves & promote Luke Walton & Jarron Collins. TBA very soon.— Monte Poole (@MontePooleCSN) July 27, 2015
"It's been awesome, it's a lot of fun." Walton said to me in a hallway of the Thomas and Mack center in Los Vegas when I asked him how his experience had been coaching the Summer League team. "Overall, I've loved the experience."
Steve Kerr is an open and trusting guy. He selects the best people for the job, and then he puts them in a position to succeed by letting them be themselves. I mean, hell, Nick U'ren, the infamous 28 year old video coordinator who doubles as Steve's personal assistant, swung the outcome of the finals by suggesting that the Warriors go small. For everyone in the room to feel that their voice will not only be heard, but will be taken seriously, makes all the difference in the world.
"We're pretty relaxed but we try to be productive and efficient with that," Bruce Fraser said when I asked him about how Steve's philosophy shapes the coaching staff. "We try and keep things fun. We also try to make, like, we want to win. We want energy. We want the passion of it all to be seen on the floor. So, I think for us, there always has to be a balance. And that's what Steve is about. There has to be a balance of enjoyment with what you're doing, and productivity. And when those two convene, then you usually find success."
It is a testament to the vision and patience of Kerr's staff that they didn't try and go out and find that "big name" guy to replace Alvin Gentry. Didn't try and make a splash. Didn't uproot all the work that has already gone into the process.
This quote was in the previous piece I did about Jarron Collins, but it bears repeating here as well given recent news.
When, a little over a week ago, I asked Jarron Collins about his own role in the staff moving forward, he said, "Well, as far as our coaching staff, it'll all be worked out. Sooner rather than later."
He trusts Kerr, trusts the vision. It is as obvious as the summer day in Vegas is long. Of course, winning a championship makes everyone feel good. "And all of us," he continued, "we have just a great culture and environment."
Jarron and Luke are enjoying the process. They are on a great staff, on an upwards trajectory. Come what may, they believe in the staff, and they have faith that when the time comes, they'll be ready to lead the team in whatever way is needed.
"It's been fantastic," said Jarron. "So I, for myself, learning from Coach Adams and where I fit on the coaching staff will all be determined in short order."
Short order indeed. I look forward to seeing what these two men bring to the table this upcoming season.