Report: LeBron James’ camp prefers coaching change from Luke Walton
Jeanie Buss may be backing Luke Walton as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, but whether LeBron James and his camp does is a different story.
In a discussion on “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast (53 minutes in), Jackie MacMullan said there is “tension” within the Lakers over the head coaching subject. She said that LeBron’s camp would prefer a coaching change. Windhorst did not dispute her suggestion.
Here’s how the conversation went (as transcribed by Silver Screen and Roll):
MacMullan: “There’s a lot of tension in that building. A lot of tension in that building. And I think people are wondering about Luke Walton even though Jeanie Buss came out very strongly and said ‘I want Luke to be here, I back him 100 percent,’ but then also made the point that has to be made, and that is that she hired Earvin Magic Johnson to make these decisions. If Earvin feels differently, she gave him the power to make those kinds of decisions. It’s clear to me, and probably to you Brian, that LeBron’s camp would prefer a coaching change. They’re not too subtle about that.”
Windhorst: “LeBron publicly hasn’t talked in a month.”
MacMullan: “Not LeBron, but all the people around LeBron, and they’ve made it known. I don’t think this a shock, is it? For me to say this?”
Windhorst “That’s a fair thing to say. That’s a fair thing to say.”
Walton was hired as the Lakers’ head coach prior to the 2016-2017 season. This is his third season with the team, and the team has shown improvement each year. Now they have LeBron James and much higher expectations. But the moment LeBron joined the team, questions about Walton’s job status percolated. It didn’t help that LeBron chose the team seemingly without much regard for Walton.
LeBron is a superstar and has the power to decide his head coach. If he’s unhappy with Walton, he’ll make it known and a change will be made. For now, it seems Walton may be given the season to see what he can do.