Saturday night, before the hot Lakers went into New Orleans and trounced the struggling Pelicans, old friends Alvin Gentry and Luke Walton shared a laugh. The two respective head coaches for the game are friends who served as fellow assistants under Steve Kerr as the Warriors went on to win the NBA title in 2015.
In his pregame press conference, Gentry used something Walton used to do in those days to poke fun of the Lakers’ coach, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
“It’d be six minutes on the clock before the game started and he was walking around in his underwear in the locker room,” Gentry said, laughing. “We shook our head all the time.”
Gentry and Warriors coach Steve Kerr teased Walton all the time. So much that Walton said it happened “every game.” Walton then vowed he would change his routine. But Kerr told him, “Don’t you dare change who you are.”
“We all had some good laughs about it. It was good memories,” Walton said. “It was part of the fun. It was a good group to work with up there.”
For the most part, it was a love fest between Gentry and Walton, who sounded like they had formed a mutual admiration society.
At least until the game started. The first half was close, but the Lakers’ starters went on a 14-0 third quarter run that blew the game open (the Lakers’ starters were +11 on the night). The Laker trio of Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr. were +19 in 19 minutes, and the Pelicans had no answer for them. The Lakers won by 27 to improve to 6-4 on the season, while the Pelicans fell to 1-9.