NBA's 65 in 65: Luke Walton
Walton, the son of former NBA player Bill Walton is praised for being skilled in the fundamentals of basketball. NBA experts see Luke as a smart player who has a high basketball IQ and understands the game of basketball. He is a bright spot off the bench for the Lakers offering high energy and tough defense every time he touches the court.
Walton will be joining the chat after the Lakers practice on Sunday afternoon, sometime between 4-5 p.m. ET!
Watch the NBA Playoffs on ESPN & ABC and the Finals on ABC.
Luke, how hard is it to sit on the bench not being able to contribute on the court? When will you be able to return?
Luke Walton (4:50 PM)
It's one of the hardest things to do. When you play basketball as a profession and train everyday, to not be able to be with your guys in the playoffs is extremely hard. It makes it easier when the team does play well. I'm hoping to be back if not tomorrow's game, then Game 2 on Wednesday.
Glenda (Davao City, Phils.)
Now that you guys advanced to the 2nd round, and the rest of the people expecting that the LAKERS will be champion this season, how will the team handle the pressure?
Luke Walton (4:51 PM)
I think we're more focused on winning a championship and our goals at hand to be worried about the pressure. We've had players and coaches who have been there before, so they keep us loose and focused. P.J. keeps us in the moment and worried about the final result and making sure that doesn't get into people's head. And when you have fun you don't even think about the pressure.
Justin Behling (Boyceville, WI)
What are the keys to beating the Houston Rockets?
Luke Walton (4:52 PM)
No. 1 is winning the rebounding battle. They've got a physical team that hits the glass hard, so we need to win that matchup. They're also a solid defensive team, so we need to work the triangle to get open shots instead of taking isolation on people.
Justin Behling (Boyceville, WI)
Hey Luke, how fun is it to play with Kobe Bryant?
Luke Walton (4:53 PM)
It's great. He's one of the greatest players of all time. He's won titles before. He's someone you love to go into war with because of his ability, skill level and confidence. You know you have the best closer in the game, so it's great playing with him.
Kody: Memphis Tn
Ok Luke, I want an NBA player's opinion. Who would you say is the most "Jordan esque" player in the game today? Dwade maybe?
Luke Walton (4:54 PM)
I think Kobe is the most similar to Jordan., Their games are a lot alike and their clutch performance are a lot alike. So if I had to pick one, I'd go with Kobe.
Luke, Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Luke Walton (4:55 PM)
I have a pre-game routine, but I'm not superstitious about putting socks on the same foot everyday. But I have a routine to get nice and loose before the game. But no rituals.
What is your favorite moment of your career?
Luke Walton (4:56 PM)
Playing in the NBA is great. Day 1 of being drafted is one of the best days of my life. And playing in the Finals as a rookie is unbelievable. Going through the Finals with Kobe, Shaq and those guys. But until we win a title, there's a lot of things that are tied.
Vincent: (Los Angeles)
Who is the funniest guy in the Lakers locker room?
Luke Walton (4:57 PM)
Lamar Odom. I don't know if it's because he's from NY, but he' always keeping the atmosphere light and talking trash. Definitely Lamar Odom.
Has your dad given you tips throughout your life as a pro?
Luke Walton (4:58 PM)
He's giving me more general advice. Nothing in particular that coaches or others in the game haven't said. It's basketball. It's all about how you do the stuff right.
Matt (Atlanta, GA)
Do you think you had an edge growing up since your father played in the NBA?
Luke Walton (5:00 PM)
Not really. Obviously I grew up around basketball. I loved watching the old Lakers and Celtics games. I imagined myself as those guys in the backyard. But if you look at the statistics, most guys in the league didn't grow up with that. It was fun, but getting to the NBA was a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve a goal. But I don't think it gave me an advantage over anyone else.
who the mvp
Luke Walton (5:00 PM)
Kobe. I see what he does day-to-day, sacrificing his stats to make the team better. My vote goes to Kobe.
bobby dicrecchio (philadelphia)
WHAT WAS UR FAVORITE NBA PLAYOFF MOMENT FROM THIS YEAR
Luke Walton (5:02 PM)
Probably that Boston-Chicago series. As a basketball fan and player, that was fun to watch.
JP: (San Gabriel, CA)
Luke, Do you think Andrew Bynum is going to bounce back strong in the Houston series?
Luke Walton (5:03 PM)
Yeah, he's going to be huge for us. He never really got into a rhythm because he was in foul trouble a lot. But I think having more time and practicing more, he's going to be huge for us in the rest of the playoffs.
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