Came across this article about Luke Walton and how he was received by his players this year. He is well liked because of his positive attitude and ability to relate to players, something this younger generation seems to thrive on. The entire article is linked below and I cut some of the highlights.
“Liking me should happen with the type of culture we want to build,” Walton said. “That’s why it’s important to me. It’s not important to me that they like me because I feel good about having more friends when I go home at the end of the night. But it’s important for the culture we’re building that they enjoy being here.”
The Lakers described that culture as one that stressed team play while empowering every player to help with that effort. Walton often played music during shootarounds and practice to lighten the mood. He frequently exchanged text messages with players. He talked with players privately, offering them praise for their strong play and constructive criticism for their mistakes.