Walton, Lakers Win NBA Title
June 14, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. - Former Arizona Wildcat Luke Walton won his first NBA championship tonight after his Los Angeles Lakers topped the Orlando Magic 99-86. The Lakers won the series four games to one, good for the franchise's 15th NBA Title.
Walton proved victorious in his third Finals appearance after two defeats, falling in 2004 against the Detroit Pistons and last season against the Boston Celtics.
Walton becomes the fifth Wildcat to win an NBA title and first since Steve Kerr earned a ring with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003. It also is the 11th NBA championship ring for the Wildcats. Kerr holds five followed by Jud Buechler with three, and Sean Elliott, Bison Dele and Walton with one apiece. Interestingly, Lakers coach Phil Jackson has coached on eight of those 11 championships.
The Laker forward also joins an elite company of father-son duos to win an NBA Championship with Luke's father, Bill, earning rings in 1977 with the Trailblazers and in 1986 as a reserve on the Boston Celtics.
Other father-son duos include Matt Guokas Sr. and his son Matt Guokas Jr. with the elder playing sparingly for the 1947 champion Philadelphia Warriors, while Guokas Jr. won his ring as a rookie with the Philadelphia 76'ers. In 2005, Brent Barry won a title with San Antonio thirty years after his father Rick Barry led the Golden State Warriors to its only ever championship.
Walton averaged 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 65 regular season games and 3.9 points and 2.5 boards in 21 postseason games.