Jeanie Buss continues to show support for Luke Walton
The Los Angeles Lakers not surprisingly have struggled during LeBron James’ absence, going 5-9 since the superstar went down with a groin injury during a Dec. 25 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Despite the legitimate built-in reason for the Lakers’ rough patch, rumors suggest coach Luke Walton’s job may not be safe. In light of speculation Walton may be on the hot seat, Lakers co-owner and CEO Jeanie Buss on Tuesday continued to show support for the embattled head coach.
“I, you know… You’re asking the wrong person,” Buss said, via a series of tweets from Lakers reporter Tomer Azarly. “The vision has to come from Magic, but from where I sit … from what I can tell you, every single thing that we’re doing, every single person in the organization is here to make Luke successful.”
Buss appeared on Zach Lowe’s “The Lowe Post” podcast Tuesday and doubled down on her support for Walton, stating that “everyone in the organization is behind Luke” and the coach “has done an impressive job,” also mentioning the challenges injuries have presented, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.
That said, a report last week from The New York Times’ Marc Stein indicated that Walton enjoys the “strongest possible backing” from Buss and she “almost certainly would prevent” cutting the coach loose during the season.
It also merits noting that Walton, currently in his third year as Lakers head coach, was reportedly not in any “imminent danger” of getting fired earlier this month.
Still, it was Johnson who was said to have “admonished” Walton when the Lakers stumbled out of the gate by starting the season with a 3-5 record.
The Lakers, losers of two straight games, sit at 25-23, only one game out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference. While it remains unclear exactly when James will return, it is expected to be sooner rather than later.