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#pounditTuesday, May 21, 2024

Luke Walton expects to remain coach of Lakers next season

Luke Walton

There is a wide-ranging assumption that the Los Angeles Lakers will be looking for a new head coach at some point after the season ends, but Luke Walton does not anticipate that happening. Either that, or he’s simply not willing to admit it publicly.

After the Lakers’ 124-106 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, Walton was asked about all of the reports swirling that he is destined to be replaced. With one year left on his contract, the 39-year-old coach insists he is not thinking about that.

“I fully expect to be coaching this team again next year,” he told Bill Oram of The Athletic.

Numerous candidates have been mentioned as possible replacements for Walton, but he says the Lakers have yet to give him any indication he will be shown the door. Until that happens, he’s choosing to view it as another way for the media to add to the drama surrounding the team.

“I just view it as outside noise unless someone from within tells me that that happened,” Walton said “Unless someone from within our group is telling me that, I just view it like all the other things we’ve gone through as a team this year. Those are things that I don’t have the time to worry about. I’ve got more important things to do like getting the team better and doing my job.”

As Oram notes, there is a belief that Magic Johnson wants to hire his own coach, as he was not in charge of the Lakers’ basketball operations department when Walton got the job. If Walton is fired, it sounds like Johnson is planning to make a big splash.

Walton has a record of 94-145 in nearly three seasons as the head coach in LA. Things seemed to go south for the team this year when LeBron James injured his hamstring, but it won’t be a surprise if the Lakers think someone can do better.

H/T Amico Hoops

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