“Luke was my No. 1 choice,” Vlade Divac stated.
In a post press conference interview with ABC10, Vlade laid out exactly what his process was in acquiring the newest head coach of the Kings, Luke Walton.
“I loved working with Dave [Joerger], and we had a good three years. But I felt very strongly about getting us to the next level and I had to do something about it,” Vlade explained.
The end of the regular season wrapped up on a Thursday and by Monday, press and members of the organization were sitting at Luke Walton’s introductory press conference, where he expressed his excitement to get started working with Vlade and the team.
When the media inquired about how Divac came to his decision so swiftly, he stated, “I started thinking about what we did in this last season and I came to the conclusion that we had to do something in terms of a coach. And when Luke was available on Friday, I felt like that was our guy and I executed quickly."
Walton parted ways with the Los Angeles Lakers just one day after the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign, and less than 24 hours later accepted his multi-year deal with the Kings.
“He came to Sacramento, we met and there was nothing to wait for,” Vlade continued. “I had made contact with other agents for meetings, but it wouldn’t be fair to other guys to take their time or prevent them from other opportunities.”
“I am very excited about Luke, he was one of my top candidates before but he wasn’t available,” Vlade elaborated. “It worked out somehow for both sides now – it was meant to be.”
When asked what quality of Luke’s he most admires? Vlade knew exactly what he was looking for in a coach.
“He has a good talent to put players in the right position to succeed, and that’s what I like the most. The relationships he builds with the players is very important with such a young team, so it is important for us.”
For the full interview with Divac and ABC10, click here.