Magic Johnson putting Luke Walton on notice
A recent meeting following a winless two-game trip served as a stern notice for Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton, one in which president Magic Johnson admonished him for the team’s sluggish start to the season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin. The mandate is clear — win now, not later.
The Lakers have gotten off to a poor 3-5 start to the season and patience is wearing thin for the Hall of Fame former point guard turned executive, as he was brought into the organization with an order to win, as owner Jeanie Buss dismantled the front office comprised of his brother Jim Buss and longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak in order to bring wins back to La La Land.
Magic Johnson, much like his star forward LeBron James had previously expressed the need for time to develop a winning formula, but it seems that patience has indeed been wearing thin and the coach’s job could be at risk if they can’t turn the season around — and quickly.
“Johnson’s aggressive meeting tone circulated to individuals throughout the organization, including to principal owner Jeanie Buss, league sources said. Throughout his tenure with the Lakers, Johnson has earned an internal reputation for an often-time volatile management style, including with his handling of Walton and the coaching staff, sources said.”
Walton was hired by Jim Buss and Kupchak less than a year before Johnson and Rob Pelinka took over their respective spots as president and general manager.
Luke Walton has a real task on his hands, considering the loose pieces added to the roster over the course of the offseason and the lack of general identity in the roster.