Walton: “We’re Going with Whoever is Playing at the Highest Level”

Coach Luke Walton chats in depth with local radio host Carmichael Dave about a range of topics before the restart of the season.
by Tracee Jay
Social Media Producer

Kings basketball is almost back!

With scrimmages starting in a little over two weeks, KHTK’s Carmichael Dave sat down with Coach Luke Walton to talk through team progress, getting used to the bubble, potential rotations and more.

But, before the team was set to take off to the Sunshine State on July 8, the Kings had to close their practice facility due to a positive COVID test.

The radio host asked Coach Walton about that issue, and the first-year Kings coach chalked it up to a precautionary measure.

“We got a little bit of unfortunate news today, nothing that is too unexpected, but we decided just to be safe and close down the facility for the next couple of days before we take off.”

Once in Florida, Luke feels safe and comfortable in the bubble, and as he’s said before in his presser, everyone has the option to make the decision on what they are comfortable with.

“This has got to be a personal decision made for everybody. The decision that I have made is that I feel comfortable enough going. I think that if you’re going to be in a bubble and quarantined once we get there, there is always going to be that risk, but that is something that I’ve come to terms with and I have accepted.”

The conversation then moved to the team itself.

When asked about how he is planning his rotations in this unprecedented return to play, Coach Walton is looking to treat the eight games as a balance between how the season ended and what works best in the moment.

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“When you look at a team like [the Kings], Pelicans, the Spurs and Portland, it’s a new season in the sense that we have eight games to try and get ourselves into that playoff spot.

“We’re coming into camp with conditioning being a priority,” said Coach Walton. “When you have eight games to make up some ground and potentially get ourselves into the playoffs, we’re going to go whoever is playing at the highest level and that will be determined in those three weeks leading up to the first game.”

The squad hopes to keep up the momentum they carried towards the end of season before the league suspension, and secure a playoff spot for the first time in 14 seasons.

The Kings have their first scrimmage on July 22 against the Heat in Orlando and then will have their first of eight regular season games on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs.

To listen to the complete interview, click play below:

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