The Lakers fell below .500 for the first time since early November when they lost in Atlanta on Tuesday night, but the team isn’t considering the possibility of a coaching change, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times.
According to Turner, there have been no internal discussions about the job status of Luke Walton, who still has the full support of the front office, including president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, general manager Rob Pelinka, and especially owner Jeanie Buss.
“Nothing is going to happen with Luke,” one source told Turner. “There hasn’t even been any talk about it and there won’t be any talks about it. Luke will definitely finish the season and he has the full support. So any talk in the media or on social media can be put to bed about Luke. He’s not going anywhere. There has been no conversation about it.”
While Walton won’t be replaced during the season, the Lakers still want to see him hold players “accountable” and make better in-game adjustments, Turner writes. One person with knowledge of the situation tells Turner that Johnson was at the game in Atlanta and didn’t like that the team played with “low energy.” Turner also cites potential concerns relating to “bad body language” and a possible “disconnect” between Walton and his players in Tuesday’s contest.
Although it sounds like Walton’s job is in no immediate danger, it’s certainly possible his future in Los Angeles will hinge on how the Lakers finish the season. At 28-29, the club is in 10th place in the Western Conference, 2.5 games behind the Kings (eighth) and Clippers (ninth).
If the Lakers are unable to make a late-season push and earn a playoff spot, I’d expect Walton’s seat to be much hotter a couple months from now.