Luke Walton to Begin Season as Warriors Coach as Steve Kerr Heals from Surgery

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2015

Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton looks over his notes during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Luke Walton has filled in for Steve Kerr as Golden State Warriors head coach throughout the month of October, and it turns out that arrangement will spill over into the regular season.

According to Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area, the Dubs' assistant coach will be the head man when Golden State opens its regular season slate against the New Orleans Pelicans Oct. 27, and perhaps beyond that.

Kerr has been on the mend for the entire offseason after undergoing back surgeries in both July and September to repair a ruptured disc, per the Warriors team website.

While it's far from ideal for the reigning NBA champions to be without their head coach to begin the season, Walton is comfortable in his new role, according to Poole:

Obviously, the preference is we have Steve coaching (next) Tuesday night. But after the last couple weeks, I'm feeling a lot more comfortable now.

If you told me two weeks ago that Steve was out, no matter what, for the first regular-season game I probably would not have slept much. But I feel fine, and confident doing what's required next week.

Although Walton is just 35 years of age and has only been coaching for a short period of time, the former two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers seems to have the respect of his team.

Per Bruce Jenkins of SFGate.com, reigning league MVP Stephen Curry has little doubt Walton is up to the task.

"Oh, yeah. In practice, for sure, he's letting us know. He's very vocal in getting us fired up," Curry said. "It's still the preseason, so you have to keep that in mind, but I'm sure he can take it up another notch when the games start counting."

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The Warriors are just 3-4 during the preseason, but with elite talent such as Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes in the fold, there isn't much cause for concern.

Walton finds himself in an extremely enviable position, and there is no reason why he can't keep Golden State firing on all cylinders until Kerr is healthy.

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