For the second consecutive season, the Warriors will be losing an assistant coach to a Western Conference competitor.
Luke Walton is going to the Los Angeles Lakers, the team announced Friday night.
Walton will continue to work as the top assistant to Steve Kerr with the Warriors for the duration of their postseason run and join the Lakers afterward.
“We're excited to bring Luke back to Los Angeles, where we feel he's going to start an outstanding coaching career," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said on the team’s website. "He's one of the brightest young coaching minds in the game and we feel fortunate that he'll be leading the on-court future of our team."
Walton spent 10 seasons in the NBA, the first nine with the Lakers, including being a member of two championship teams.
Walton, 36, became a hot coaching commodity based on a number of factors, none bigger than his term as interim coach during Kerr’s leave of absence. The Warriors under Walton won their first 24 games – an NBA-record start – and were 39-4 when Kerr returned on Jan. 22.
Walton, who owns a home in the Los Angeles area, has had a meteoric rise. After his NBA career, he retired after the 2012-13 season and spent one year as a player development coach in the D-League before Kerr tapped him to join the Warriors in June, 2014.
Walton was the Warriors’ No. 3 assistant last season, behind Alvin Gentry and Ron Adams. Gentry left last summer to become head coach in New Orleans, after which Kerr promoted Walton to the top assistant post.