Instead of not filling the vacant third assistant position on his staff as he hinted last week, University of Memphis coach Josh Pastner has made an intriguing choice for the job. Pastner is on the verge of hiring fellow Arizona alum and current Los Angeles Lakers forward Luke Walton as an assistant coach until the NBA lockout ends and play resumes. The hire will not become official without the approval of the Tennessee State Board of Regents, but Pastner is confident enough it will happen that Memphis put out a release announcing it.
A series of foot and back injuries have robbed Walton of his former athleticism and made it difficult for him to live up to that lucrative deal he signed in 2007, but he still endeared himself to Phil Jackson because he played the game the right way.
Walton may want to coach after his playing career is over, but he would be foolish to retire with two years and more than $11 million left on his current contract.
Luke Walton holding down a front row seat at Staple Center for $6M a year, reason and official poster boy for NBA lock out and labor dispute.