Kobe Bryant replacement: None of the young Lakers could take over as the face of the franchise ‘anytime soon’, says Luke Walton

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NBA, NBA Rumors, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Lakers News
Kobe Bryant (Photo Courtesy: Alexandra Walt/Flickr)

Coach Luke Walton admits that none of his young players could replace Kobe Bryant as the next face of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise “anytime soon”.

After Kobe Bryant retired, the Lakers decided to undergo a rebuilding process. They started by firing Byron Scott and replacing him with Luke Walton as the new head coach. In the 2016 NBA draft, Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac joined the Lakers young core.

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The 2016 NBA season marked the start of a new era in Los Angeles. Without a legitimate superstar on their team, the Lakers are projected to suffer another disappointing season. However, they made a surprising 10-10 start and seem to have a chance to earn a playoff spot.

Luke Walton was undeniably one of the major reasons behind the Lakers improvement. Unlike Scott, Walton established a good coach-players relationship with his team. Also, the 36-year-old head coach implemented a younger, updated philosophy compared to that of older generations.

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As the season goes, the Lakers experienced lots of ups and downs where Walton has seen his team’s strengths and weaknesses. However, with the Lakers mostly composed of young players, Walton doesn’t see any of them taking over as the face of the franchise “anytime soon“.

When Kobe Bryant retired, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr., and Jordan Clarkson were expected to step up and lead the Lakers in the succeeding years. Though they showed some improvements, they still lack the skills and talent to be considered as the next face of the franchise.

Brandon Ingram, who’s frequently compared to Kevin Durant, is yet to live up to expectations of a second overall pick. Despite coming off the bench, coach Luke Walton assures that Ingram will have enough playing time to further develop his skills.

As of now, Walton eyes to bring out the best from his young players to see who deserve to be next face of the franchise. The Lakers are really in need of a legitimate superstar to lead the team back to title contention.

Photo courtesy: Alexandra Walt/Flickr

Video courtesy: Youtube/FreeDawkins

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