Walton only Cat drafted
Walton stays in SoCal
Walton stays in SoCal

Posted Jun 26, 2003

Luke Walton failed to go in the first round of the NBA Draft, but was the 32nd overall selection of the Los Angeles Lakers. Walton will go to a team that has two of the best players in the NBA, but failed to win their fourth straight NBA title, falling to eventual champion San Antonio.

Luke Walton was the second pick of the Lakers, who selected fellow senior Brian Cook in the first round. Both players are combo forwards and will fill immediate needs for the Lakers. The Lakers need players who can fill in at both the small and power forwards. Both look to be perfect players in the triangle offense.

“Our offense calls for guys who can pass and both Cook and Walton are good passers,” Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson told ESPN. “They’ll be good additions to our club.”

Walton is from Southern California, but did not grow up a Lakers fan.

“I grew up watching my dad play with the Celtics,” Walton said on ESPN’s draft broadcast. “We were Celtic fans when we were younger. As I grew older I started watching the Lakers. They are a great franchise.”

Walton is one of the best passers in the draft and that will make scorers like Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant happy. He’s a good rebounder but injuries and his quickness are concerns. With the injury to Rick Fox and Robert Horry getting older, there could be immediate playing time for Walton.

“The Lakers have a great tradition and great organization,” Walton said. “I think it’s a great fit for me.”

He is the first Wildcat drafted by the Lakers and had he gone in the first round, he would have been part of the eighth father/son combo to go in the first round. Ironically enough Cook was the seventh.

Walton is one of the smartest players in the draft and you can bet that Phil Jackson will like that.

“He knows how to play the game,” Jackson said.

He was the lone Wildcat drafted. Neither Rick Anderson nor Jason Gardner heard there names called on draft night. Both will try to latch on with teams as free agents.

Discuss this story on the BASKETBALL MESSAGE BOARDS

Related Stories
CJ's Corner: Draft Day Predictions
 -by TheBootleg.com  Jun 26, 2003
The 2003 "Sternies" NBA Draft Awards
 -by WildcatAuthority.com  Jun 27, 2003
NBA Draft: Best players I've ACTUALLY seen
 -by WildcatAuthority.com  Jun 25, 2003

Get the 2014 Scout.com Recruiting Yearbook with an annual Total Access Pass
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from WildcatAuthority.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
SF Luke Walton (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Basketball > University City HS > Alumni
[View My HotList]