RUMOR: Jeanie Buss would likely overrule a Luke Walton firing by Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka
If Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka decide they want to fire head coach Luke Walton, co-owner Jeanie Buss would likely stop it from actually happening, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.
Jeanie Buss is very fond of Luke Walton and she believes the former Lakers forward is the right guy to help LeBron James turn the team into a winner again.
It is also an open secret in Lakerland that Walton has the strongest possible backing from the owner Jeanie Buss. Even if the front office tandem of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka held Walton responsible for the Lakers’ swoon and wanted to make an in-season change, Buss almost certainly would prevent such rashness.
Jeanie Buss and the Lakers hired Luke Walton in 2016. Rob Pelinka was hired in 2017 as the new GM, and Magic Johnson became president of basketball operations in 2017 as well.
So, Walton is neither Pelinka or Johnson’s guy.
Johnson and Walton reportedly had a tense conversation earlier in the season when the Lakers got off to a slow start. Rumors of Walton getting fired cooled off when the team was playing well, but they have come up again ever since James went down on Christmas Day with a groin injury.
In Walton’s defense, no coach would be able to win with this roster, especially with LeBron out. There is shooting on the team, and in a league which is trending towards more 3-pointers being taken, it’s going to be tough to beat teams when you don’t have players who consistently stretch the floor.
Luke Walton signed a five-year deal with the Lakers.