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Lakers get OK to interview Warriors assistant Luke Walton for coaching job

Lakers get OK to interview Warriors assistant Luke Walton for coaching job

Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton waits for a referees call during a timeout against the Clippers at the Staples Center on Nov. 19, 2015.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers are starting to schedule interviews for possible coaches, including Golden State assistant coach Luke Walton.

Walton guided the Warriors to a 39-4 record before head coach Steve Kerr returned from back surgery this season.  It was his first experience as a head coach, even though it was only temporary.

The Lakers are “perfectly welcome to talk to Luke as soon as the series is over and we have a little break,” Kerr said Wednesday before the Warriors eliminated Houston in the first round of the playoffs.

Walton was part of championship teams in 2009 and 2010 while playing for the Lakers.

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Ettore Messina, an assistant coach with San Antonio, is in a similar situation -- waiting to meet with the Lakers in between playoff rounds. The Spurs swept Memphis in the opening round.

Messina was a former coaching consultant with the Lakers under Coach Mike Brown. He has extensive international experience and has been learning at the side of Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich.

The Lakers parted ways with Byron Scott after he won only 38 games over two seasons, including a 17-65 mark this past season, the worst in Lakers history.

Other candidates to coach the Lakers include the University of Connecticut’s Kevin Ollie and former New York Knicks Coach Jeff Van Gundy, among a handful of others as the Lakers whittle down a list of about a dozen individuals.

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Etc.

A person with knowledge of the details said the New York Knicks interviewed former Cleveland coach David Blatt for their head coaching position.

Knicks President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson met with Blatt this week, the person told the Associated Press.

Blatt was fired by the Cavaliers after leading them to the NBA Finals last year in his first season and a 30-11 record this season. The longtime international coach was a teammate at Princeton with Knicks General Manager Steve Mills.

Kurt Rambis finished the season as interim coach after Jackson fired Derek Fisher in February. Rambis was only 9-19 as the Knicks faltered to the finish after a solid start. But he is close with Jackson, whom he worked under in Los Angeles, and runs the triangle offense that Jackson utilized while winning an NBA-record 11 championships as a coach.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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