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Here's What LeBron James Has Said Publicly About His New Head Coach Luke Walton

LeBron James sitting at a press conference.

EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers during the Los Angeles Lakers Media Day at the UCLA Health Training Center on September 24, 2018 in El Segundo, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Coaching the greatest player in the world can be a gift and a curse. The move to the Lakers has some wondering what the LeBron James-Luke Walton dynamic will be like.

So far, the relationship seems as tepid as possible. As of Wednesday, LeBron James reportedly had "zero contact" with his new head coach.

James didn't stay in the Los Angeles area when he made his free agency decision. He got back from his Anguilla trip, the decision was made, and he took off for Europe shortly thereafter.

A team's head coach has never been a huge factor in a LeBron decision... unless you count Miami Heat general manager Pat Riley recruiting him, which is a bit of a stretch. Still, one would assume LeBron would want to speak to his coach at some point soon after his decision.

We know he has discussed team building with team president Magic Johnson. James was reportedly tapped into the team's decision to sign veterans like Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson to one-year deals, signings that were baffling to some.

He may not have a lot of contact with Luke Walton, who was taken in the same 2003 NBA Draft, but we do have at least one quote about the young coach from LeBron James.

In an early March game last season, Walton's Lakers beat James and the Cavs 127-113 at the Staples Center. After the game, James was asked about the team, which he was already rumored to consider in free agency.

He had some positive things to say about Walton's coaching ability, and cited his experience with the Golden State Warriors, where Walton served as an assistant and interim head coach from 2014-2016.

James wasn't asked about Walton directly, but brought him up immediately when asked about the improved Lakers:

"Since Luke took over, they've improved every single season. He's just tried to implement that ball-movement, that body-movement when he was in Golden State."

It hasn't been rapid, but the franchise has taken big steps under Walton. A year before his arrival, during the Kobe Bryant farewell tour, L.A. won 17 games. In Walton's first year, they went 26-56, and last year, improved to 35-47.

As of now, Walton's job is obviously safe. LeBron is probably good enough to get this team back to the NBA Playoffs, and clearly, his decision to join the Lakers wasn't totally a basketball-predicated one. He may be more patient with Walton than some of the other coaches that have lost their jobs with him on the roster. There will definitely be questions entering the season, and if the team fails to get off to a solid start this season.