Luke Walton preaching team unity amid ‘tough times’
Luke Walton may be on the hottest of hot seats, but the embattled Los Angeles Lakers head coach is still preaching positivity amid the team’s stunning downward spiral.
Following a shorthanded practice session Wednesday that saw Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, LeBron James and Rajon Rondo sit out, Walton talked a good game, saying the Lakers have no choice but to stick together.
“We had good energy,” Walton said, as transcribed by Clutch Points. “Guys are upset about losing and where we’re at. As we continue to try and build things you have to be resilient with who you are and who we are as a group. It’s tough times right now. We can’t let that get us down. We got to continue to develop our habits, continue to work as a group, and define how we handle ourselves in tough times.”
The Lakers (30-34) have dropped three straight and seven of 10 games, a slide that has eliminated the team from postseason contention. Sitting tenth in the Western Conference and 5.5 games back of the currently No. 8-seeded San Antonio Spurs, Basketball Reference is giving the Lakers the most minuscule of chances of reaching the postseason with 0.1 percent probability.
Worse for Walton, his chances of holding on to the Lakers’ coaching job is even slimmer, if that’s even possible.
Marc Stein of The New York Times wrote this week that the “prevailing assumption in league coaching circles remains that Walton will almost certainly be dismissed after the season.”
Walton’s grip on his job has been tenuous at best almost the entire season, and the team’s deep descent into irrelevance has doomed him.
It goes without saying that the first year of the LeBron James Era in Los Angeles has been a colossal disappointment at worst and an unmitigated disaster at best.
In other words, having “good energy” at practice and the head coach staying positive is not going to change the expected fallout from this nightmarish season, starting with Walton receiving his walking papers.