Adam Silver confirms Rich Paul came to him about Luke Walton
Tuesday’s bombshell story about the sheer dysfunction in the Los Angeles Lakers organization was one that shook the core off NBA circles, even at this stage of the NBA playoffs. Among the nuggets mentioned was how Rich Paul, notably LeBron James’ childhood friend and agent, talked to NBA commissioner Adam Silver and told him how Luke Walton wasn’t the right guy to coach James or the Lakers.
Silver recently confirmed this taking place during an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up! in which he openly discussed their exchange.
“(Paul) was in the same restaurant,” said Silver. “There were two people sitting there. He sat down for a second, and I think he said something along the lines that ‘Luke Walton is not the right guy to coach LeBron.’
“My reaction was to shrug my shoulders and maybe say, ‘Well, who do you think is the right guy to coach? and he mentioned a name and that was that. I think as commissioner, I don’t want to shut people off who have a point of view.”
The name Paul mentioned as the ideal candidate to replace Walton was reportedly Tyronn Lue, who previously coached James for two-and-a-half seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I think (Paul) just wanted to say it out loud,” said Silver. “I don’t think he had any expectation that I would repeat that to anyone.”
It’s likely that Silver entertained Paul just to maintain his image as an approachable commissioner, as neither he nor anyone in the NBA league office has any power to decide who coaches a team, only serving as enforcers in case of fines or suspensions.
Silver however added he’s not worried about owner Jeanie Buss or the Lakers, stating this phase is just a result of the constant losing during the past six seasons.
“I know Jeanie knows how to manage a team,” said Silver. “Sure, when things start to go wrong, a lot of fingers get pointed. But they’ll figure it out.”