It's strange to think that Lakers head coach Luke Walton was in the same draft class as his current star player LeBron James. But it's true. While LeBron was the No. 1 pick in the draft and has certainly lived up to his billing as "The Chosen One", Walton was the 32nd pick of the draft and went to Los Angeles to spend nine solid seasons as a role player.
On Monday, LeBron and fellow 2003 draftee Dwyane Wade will face off for the final time as the Heat come to Los Angeles. Enter Luke Walton, who of course had to insert himself into the conversation with the greats of the 2003 draft class.
Luke Walton on being in the '03 draft class: " I feel a lot of pride. I feel like I brought a lot to the table as far as being one of the top draft classes of all time. I mean, guys like LeBron and D-Wade and Bosh and Walton … We really did our thing."— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) December 10, 2018
The 2003 draft featured LeBron, Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, David West, and Kyle Korver (to name a few) so Walton may not have much of a place in its history as a player. He did win two championships with Kobe, but nobody is out there claiming he was leading the charge.
There will almost certainly be a moment where the tandem and rivalry of James and Wade will be recognized, whether it be in the arena or simply between the two players themselves.