Riding a modest two-game winning streak, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a franchise-worst first quarter against the Toronto Raptors en route to a loss.
Coming off an emotional win against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers simply did not have it on the second game of a back-to-back situation.
Under normal circumstances, the Lakers could move on and focus on their next game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson’s recent comments about head coach Luke Walton are unsettling.
After their reported meeting, Johnson said Walton would remain head coach for the 2018-19 NBA season unless something ‘drastic’ happened.
While Johnson would not go into details about what ‘drastic’ meant, James was asked if it is easier to move on from these type of games in his 16th season.
“Yeah, but you still learn from it,” James said. “We’re going to watch film and that nature but you don’t put too much into it. There’s games like this throughout an 82-game season, where you just don’t have it. We had it in spurts but for the majority of 48 minutes, we didn’t have it.”
As the best player in the game today, the reality is James has a major influence on a team’s decision-making. While the 33-year-old has been known as a ‘coach killer’ in his career, he has been supportive of Walton and the coaching staff through 10 games.
Although Johnson may be putting pressure on the Lakers to win now, it appears James ultimately understands what he signed up for, highlighted by the four-year deal. With a talented young core and ample cap space in 2019 free agency, winning may not instantly happen and James’ comments have preached patience.