San Diego native Luke Walton out as Lakers coach

Elena Summers
April 14, 2019

A potential power struggle instead ended with both men out of their jobs after this wild week.

Earlier this week, The Athletic's post-mortem on the Lakers revealed that Johnson was M.I.A.in Hawaii last season when LaVar Ball accused Luke Walton of having lost the young Lakers squad.

"This franchise and the city will always be special to me and my family", said 39-year-old Walton, who won the National Basketball Association twice as a Lakers player.

Leaving the Lakers this summer could be great for Walton, who was basically in a no-win situation in LA.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the Lakers are losing "one of the best human beings in the league".

Walton was hired by the Lakers in 2016 after Byron Scott piloted the iconic franchise to its worst season ever, a 17-65 train wreck in Kobe Bryant's final season.


Walton leaves the Lakers with two years remaining on his five-year deal. "The guys fought every night". The franchise signed James last offseason, and expectations rose. The club is likely to resume its pursuit of New Orleans Pelcians star Anthony Davis and there are premier free agents such at Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to chase as well. Several Lakers acknowledged the shadowy pursuit's impact on their play.

"He's been great for us", Fox said during the All-Star Break. "They were anxious where they were going to end up". The Hall of Fame point guard was upset with the team's defense and sluggish start but later told the Los Angeles Times and ESPN that Walton would not be fired barring something unforeseen. Walton just couldn't coax enough wins out of the Lakers, who ruined their second-half playoff hopes with confounding losses to bottom-dwellers NY and Phoenix.

"I feel for Luke". "They did everything right, I'll say that".

Not many Lakers observers questioned Walton's man-management abilities, but his tactical acumen was widely criticized. We have seen it play out too many times in James' career to think otherwise at this point.

"Joerger never seemed to connect with prized rookie Marvin Bagley III, leaving the second overall pick to wonder privately if Joerger even liked him." said Jones.

Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue is rumored to be the front-runner for the open vacancy for the same role with the Lakers.

Walton is considered the leading candidate for the Kings' coaching job, but the team is also expected to consider Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina.

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