The Los Angeles Lakers have had a pretty inconsistent start to the season so far. With defense nearly nonexistent at times and the offense struggling in the halfcourt, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson had a heated meeting with head coach Luke Walton.
The belief is that Johnson was unhappy with the lack of offensive system being set by Walton thus far, but that the head coach’s job was not in danger.
In later speaking with the media however, Johnson gave himself some leeway by saying Walton would last the year as Lakers head coach unless something ‘drastic’ were to happen. Johnson added he didn’t anticipate any such development.
Of course, this still led many to question exactly what the definition of drastic was. The guessing game will need to continue, as Johnson declined to provide any specifics or clarity, via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:
“No, not going into that,” Johnson said with a laugh. “He’s our coach, we supporting him, and that’s it.”
While there has been plenty of speculation about Walton’s job security, Johnson and the rest of the Lakers front office and ownership have always publicly supported him. Even before the season began, Magic spoke about the possibility of a slow start for the Lakers and that it wouldn’t impact Walton’s standing as the coach.
There is surely plenty of room for improvement with Walton as a coach, and the players’ performance on the floor. Add in a number of new players getting used to each other, early-season suspensions, Lonzo Ball coming back from surgery, and a very tough early schedule and a rough start was a more than likely outcome.
Not to mention most LeBron James teams struggle in the early-going of his first year. Whether Walton ultimately lasts as the Lakers head coach remains to be seen, but it sounds as if Magic is going to give him every opportunity to figure things out before making a change.