Rumor: Luke Walton isn’t in imminent danger of losing his job
On Christmas Day, things were looking incredible in Lakerland, as the Los Angeles Lakers thumped the Golden State Warriors—at Oracle Arena, no less—by 26 points and improved to 20-14 on the year.
However, on that fateful night, LeBron James injured his groin and left the game early. He has been sidelined ever since, and over that time, the Lakers have gone just 2-5, including a dreadful home loss to the lowly New York Knicks.
But, in spite of Los Angeles’ recent struggles, head coach Luke Walton is not in danger of losing his job, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic:
“As I’ve chronicled before, the dynamic between Luke Walton and his Lakers bosses is complicated enough that his situation will be worth monitoring until season’s end,” wrote Amick. “Yet even before the Lakers routed Dallas on Monday to improve to 22-19, when they had lost five of six games since losing James entering play, a source close to the situation said that there were no signs of imminent danger for the third-year coach.”
And why should there be danger?
After all, the Lakers are missing their best player who also happens to be the best player in the league. Take James off that roster, and Los Angeles is essentially the same team as last year that won 35 games.
The Lakers are currently 22-19 and sit in eighth place in the Western Conference, so they do not appear to be in danger of falling out of the playoff race. The only thing is, there doesn’t seem to be any concrete update on James’ status, and groin injuries can be tricky.
Still, Los Angeles would really have to spiral out of control for Magic Johnson to seriously put the lion’s share of the blame on Walton.