Magic Johnson and Jeanie Buss with differing opinions on Luke Walton sacking, with Walton having the backing of the Lakers co-owner.
Luke Walton is under a host of pressure going into the second half of the season, as the Lakers are struggling to find their feat without their talisman, LeBron James.
The way the Lakers are playing(or have been playing), a lot of NBA analysts feel that Luke Walton is struggling to implement his plan B and get the best out of a young and talented Lakers team.
Rumors have been doing the rounds that Magic Johnson, the President of Basketball operations and Rob Pelinka, the general manager want to replace Luke Walton at the helm of coaching affairs at the Lakers.
However, co-owner, Jeanie Buss is a massive fan of Luke Walton and wants the Lakers to stay away from making any mid-season rash decisions.
With speculation on Luke Walton’s job security swirling, it sounds like Jeanie Buss is ready to step in if Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka attempt to fire him. https://t.co/AE4XB7eaL0 pic.twitter.com/0XXYm2dc5k
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) January 15, 2019
Luke Walton made this decision over lunch at The Palm Los Angeles with Magic Johnson and LeBron James.
Magic Johnson encouraged Walton that changes were necessary and LeBron informed Walton that unless his Kultch Agent was starting, he would push back his return date. https://t.co/t4qp6Z50tp
— Alex Golden (@AlexGoldenNBA) January 16, 2019
Buss feels that Luke Walton knows what it takes to extract the best out of LeBron and the Lakers during the business part of the season.
“It is also an open secret in Lakerland that Walton has the strongest possible backing from the owner Jeanie Buss. Even if the front office tandem of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka held Walton responsible for the Lakers’ swoon and wanted to make an in-season change, Buss almost certainly would prevent such rashness.” Marc Stein of the New York Times has reported.
Early on in the season, Magic Johnson had confirmed that Luke Walton won’t be sacked midway through the season unless something drastic happened.
While nothing ‘drastic’ has happened until now, things are certainly in motion to push the Lakers out of playoff contention, with them having slipped to 9th place, before their Tuesday night fixture with the Bulls.
While the Lakers are in a spot of bother, it is less due to the coaching and more due to their roster and LeBron’s groin injury.
Lakers are in desperate need of a shooter, even when LeBron returns, as the Lakers find themselves pretty one-dimensional in attack, despairingly at a time when the league is known for its 3 -point play.
Luke Walton had received Kobe Bryant’s support too but all of that could go south, if the Lakers go on another losing spree before LeBron James’ return.
Moreover, reports of an altercation between Luke Walton and Magic Johnson had come through, when the Lakers first started losing. But, Luke Walton has confirmed that Maginc and himself have moved on from that.
“It’s been good,” Walton had recently said.
— LakeShow (@LA__LakeShow) January 15, 2019
“Honestly, it has. …Anytime I call him, he calls back within an hour or two, and we talk hoops. He wants to win, and I want to win. So as far as that (goes), we’re all trying to do the same thing, and I don’t feel like he’s trying to move me out of there.
“We definitely talked about (the Oct. 30 meeting). Me and him, one on one. We one hundred percent have moved forward from it.
“I don’t think it has changed anything. We still – it’s still the ultimate goal, and there’s time when I’ll call him or go sit in his office and pick his brain on what he’s seeing and what kind of suggestions he might have.
“But there’s no – what’s the word – discomfort. I don’t walk in there, and it’s like ‘F***, I’ve got to go talk to Magic.’ Like, I have no problem going in and sitting down with him and talking about what’s going on without thinking about that at all.” he added.