The Los Angeles Lakers have had perhaps the craziest week in franchise history and one of the major themes was owner Jeanie Buss not wanting to fire head coach Luke Walton.
Following Magic Johnson’s resignation as president of basketball operations, it seemed possible that Walton could keep his job, provided he change his coaching staff.
However, in another surprise move, Walton was still let go. While it was announced the two sides mutually part ways, it has since come out that Walton wanted to stay and was effectively fired.
As there are more reports, there’s one in particular that sticks out. At the end of the team’s five-game road trip in March, Walton sat down with Buss and discussed how everything could remain in place, according to Dave Mcmenamin and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
Later in the season, it was the coach’s turn to struggle making headway with what he was trying to convey. Walton sat next to Jeanie Buss on a plane ride back at the conclusion of a five-game road trip in late March. His ouster seemed like an inevitability by that point. But rather than use the time with his boss to complain, Walton told Buss that he believed the coaching staff and front office could all grow together if given the chance, sources said.
Sadly, it appears general manager Rob Pelinka decided that Walton still needed to go. Pelinka now seems to have full control over where the team goes next and he proved that by letting go of Walton.
Walton, through all of this, has become a rather sympathetic character. Although Walton had his shortcomings as a head coach, he seemed more than willing to try and work it out. In the end, it seemed his firing was inevitable and nothing he would’ve said or done could’ve prevented that.