LeBron James was taken by the Cavs with the No. 1 overall pick. Luke Walton went 31 picks later by the Lakers at No. 32.
Fast-forward 15 years and Walton is set to become LeBron’s head coach after the four-time MVP agreed to join the Lakers on Sunday.
But it appears Walton had no part in helping to bring LeBron to Los Angeles.
LeBron and Walton had “zero contact” during the recruitment process, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jordan Schultz.
A source close to #LeBron tells me that Bron had zero contact w/#Lakers head coach Luke Walton throughout the Lakers’ entire recruitment process. “LeBron never met Luke at all,” source says – and they still have not met. Walton will be James’ seventh full-time NBA head coach.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 4, 2018
Walton, who is entering his third season as Lakers coach, has a tall task ahead of him. Instead of coaching a young team just hoping to break .500, he’s now in charge of a LeBron-led squad expected to make the playoffs and compete for an NBA championship.
Before taking the Lakers job, Walton spent two seasons as an assistant coach for Steve Kerr with the Warriors. During the 2015-16 season, his last with the Warriors, Walton guided the Warriors to a 39-4 record while Kerr dealt with complications from back surgery.
In two seasons with the Lakers, Walton has amassed a 61-103 record.