Jeanie Buss: Luke Walton can be Lakers coach for 10-15 years
Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss envisions head coach Luke Walton being at the helm of the team for the long-haul, perhaps even into the 2030s.
In a recent podcast appearance on Forbes Sports Money, Buss said that she thinks Walton can be the Lakers head coach of the next 10-15 years.
“What was important to me was how he felt about our coach, Luke Walton,” Buss said of hiring Lakers new president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. “Luke Walton is, he is somebody that I believe can be our coach for the next 10 or 15 years, as long as we don’t kill him.”
Walton is only 37 years old and is in his first season coaching the team. But that kind of longevity in the NBA is rare — Buss’ ex-fiancé Phil Jackson is the longest-tenured coach in L.A. Lakers history with 11 non-consecutive seasons served, and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is the only active coach who has lasted a decade or more with his current team. Furthermore, Walton already has the third-lowest winning percentage among active coaches and has been open about his frustration with how the season has played out.
However, if there is anybody willing to dig in and gut it out with the team for the long run, Walton, who was drafted by the Lakers and spent almost his entire playing career with them, seems to be the likeliest candidate.