When the Los Angeles Lakers were mired in an eight-game losing streak, head coach Luke Walton was asked if he felt as though his job security was in question. “No. I coach as if it’s not,” Watlon succinctly said.
In the days since, the Lakers’ season-worst losing streak has stretched to nine games, and LaVar Ball has again called into question Walton’s coaching. Ball’s latest claim is his belief Walton doesn’t have control and players no longer want to play for him.
Ball’s criticism very much falls in line with growing frustration within a fan base that expected the Lakers to improve from last season. That group never suffered a nine-game skid, but had two separate eight-game losing streaks.
Direct comparisons of Walton’s first and second years as a head coach isn’t without faults. There are scheduling differences and injuries, among other factors, that must be taken into account.
And though some may want to oust Walton, the Lakers aren’t anywhere near that line of thinking, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
Luke Walton's job status is "not even a conversation" according to a Lakers source. https://t.co/7UoivlCUtH
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 7, 2018
When discussing his job status, Walton added it would not be right for him to have any concerns. “As I’ve preached to my players, control what you can control in life,” he said. “It’s got to be my philosophy as a coach as well.”
Walton has remained consistent in his praise of the Lakers front office and the support he feels he receives from them and ownership. “They obviously understand where we’re at as a team and what we’re trying to do, what our big picture is,” Walton said.
“[Jeanie Buss has] been incredible. I’ve talked with her a lot during this season. I like to give her updates. She’s been around this game a long time, so she knows when to be supportive. She’s been really great to work with.”
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