Luke Walton made his broadcast debut in L.A.’s Friday-Saturday games against Minnesota and Utah, and surprised no one that’s spoken with him by doing a terrific job alongside radio play-by-play man Spero Dedes on 710 ESPN.
Of course, Walton wasn’t going to sing his own praises.
“I had a great time doing the broadcasts, and was really impressed with Spero and how easy he made it for me,” said Walton.
In that case, let’s talk to Dedes:
On Luke’s success in his first two games as a color analyst:
Spero Dedes: I expected that he was going to do well all along, and that was certainly the case. Luke is a very cerebral guy, as you know, and he’s a guy who thinks the game through as a player. When you put him in that position to analyze and commentate through the game, it’s a layup for him. We were breaking his chops for the first couple of minute, but he was great.
On Spero’s approach to the game working alongside a new partner:
Dedes: I’m used to Mychal (Thompson) ignoring me completely, so I tried to engage Luke a little bit more, ask him questions … I’m just kidding. But I did try to ask him what Phil (Jackson’s) thinking here, what his teammates are doing and so on, and Luke was offering really good nuggets along those lines all night long. One time, Lamar (Odom) made a defensive mistake, and Luke pointed it out right away, and the very next time down the floor defensively Lamar made the adjustment. Another sequence, Luke was talking about Ron Artest being a great defender, and Ron came up with a steal on the next possession. That made him look really good.
On the advantage of currently playing with the team for a broadcaster:
Dedes: Even Mychal’s not privy to that kind of stuff, because Luke’s working out with these guys even as he’s recovering from injury. Luke, I think, was apprehensive going into it, but I think he’s going to realize that once he’s done playing, whether it’s 10 years or 20, that this is a pretty good way to make a living for a guy that’s had a long and successful professional playing career.