Report: Former Lakers coach Luke Walton was ‘frustrated’ throughout season, but he wanted to make it work until the end
Luke Walton’s third season as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers was perhaps the most chaotic of them all, as he was described as “frustrated” due to the lack of stability around him, according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.
Walton’s concerns were so dire that following a practice more than a month before the season ended, he was asked by his coaching staff whether he would be better off leaving the team and its dysfunction behind, knowing he’d likely be fired after the season:
Sources close to Walton said he wanted to make it work until the very end and was willing to stay if management wanted to keep him. But Walton also knew — and told his staff in response to the question about his future — that departing the Lakers had to be considered too.
Walton was never consulted in any of the personnel decisions, decisions that could be vital, considering the Lakers brought in a four-year, $154 million commitment and the biggest fish in 2018 free agency in LeBron James.
The front office, comprised of two inexperienced partners in president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka, opted for less-than-ideal pieces to surround James with. It was attempt that proved ultimately futile, leaving the Lakers out of the playoffs for a sixth straight season.
Walton was fired by the Lakers at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season and hired by the Sacramento Kings soon after.
The young head coach was then consequently sued by a journalist who alleged he sexually assaulted her while Walton served as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.