Early season coach firing has begun and doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. First Tyronn Lue was let go. Now there are rumblings about Luke Walton, the Los Angeles Lakers head coach. Rumors about his firing aren’t exactly breaking news but a meeting with the front office has sparked the topic again. Will Luke Walton be fired?
According to ESPN’s league sources, Magic Johnson, the Lakers president, admonished Luke Walton in a meeting on Tuesday. Tania Ganguli of the LA Times reported that Magic was shouting and cursing at the coach. He asked what he was doing with the team and wanted to see an offensive system in place that has yet to be seen.
Despite the stern message from Magic, Walton doesn’t appear to be worried about his job security. Shortly after the meeting, he went to the media to address the latest news.
Walton does have a point. He has a great relationship with the front office. However, he was hired by a GM who was fired. There is a reason to believe Magic and Rob Pelinka could have another head coach in mind.
Magic has been outspoken about his expectations of the Lakers to get back into contention. Even with the signing of LeBron James, he knew that the young core would need development. At the same time, it’s his job to make sure the team is headed in the right direction.
Over the last two seasons, the Lakers have been 26-56 and 35-47. This season they are 3-5 and currently 12th in the western conference. They’ve been competitive in every game, which is a plus. On a positive note, the slow start could have something to do with LeBron James.
Whenever LeBron joins a new team, they tend to struggle. They usually start clicking as the season progresses. Chris Broussard went on Undisputed to talk more about LeBron's impact on teams.
Broussard, like Walton, made another good point. However, LeBron’s teams had slow starts in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers can’t afford to fall too far behind in the west.
In Walton’s third season, fans are expecting to make the playoffs with LeBron leading the way. They are tired of losing seasons and want to see the historic franchise get back to prominence. Walton’s job is safe for now, but this year could make or break for him.