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Rumor: Luke Walton could coach UCLA if fired by Lakers

Luke Walton

Luke Walton is heavily believed to be in murky waters following the regular season, likely to be axed out as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers once the 2018-19 campaign comes to a close. According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, Walton could go from one Los Angeles hotbed to another in UCLA, with his father, Bruins legend Bill Walton, pulling the strings.

Bucher said a source first mentioned this in January, but the information was recently reiterated to him now that the Lakers have nearly nixed their chances to wind up with a playoff spot at the end of this season.

Monday night’s loss to the LA Clippers marked three in a row for the Lakers, making the road ahead that much more difficult to navigate, not only struggling to gain ground on the seventh-seeded Clippers, but also depending on the fate of others to muster that last spot.

Former head coach Steve Alford was fired as UCLA’s coach in his sixth season right before welcoming the new year, as the Bruins fell in a four-game skid that included home losses to Belmont and Liberty. Alford’s assistant, Murry Bartow, is serving as the interim coach through the end of the season, making it possible for Walton to grab the head coaching job.

The Bruins (16-13, 9-7) are third in the Pac-12 conference. Walton, an Arizona product, should be plenty familiar with the inner workings of the conference to arise as a prospective candidate should the Lakers move on from him at season’s end.