Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr came into the defense of Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, who is currently under fire after failing to lead his team to the playoffs even with LeBron James around.
Most fans are pinning the blame on Walton, who is coaching in his third season in Los Angeles.
However, Kerr insisted that Walton should not bear the brunt, pointing out that the Lakers gig is “an impossible job” because of the different circumstances that occurred this season.
Kerr cited that injuries to key players that hit the Lakers. They looked like a team ready to end their playoff drought earlier in the season, but injuries halted their progress. One of the biggest blows is losing James for more than a month due to a groin injury.
Steve Kerr just called Luke Walton's circumstances with the Lakers this year, chiefly injuries, "an impossible job."
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) April 5, 2019
James actually hurt his groin during a blowout win against the Warriors in their Christmas Day showdown. Since then, the Lakers went on a downward trajectory, losing grip on one of the eight playoff spots in the Western Conference. They are currently 11th in West with a 35-43 record.
The Lakers are expected to make big moves again in the offseason. They have the cap space to sign a top free agent next summer. But aside from tapping another superstar to play alongside James, there are rumblings that they might also revamp their coaching staff.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported that Lakers owner Jeannie Buss praised Walton for his work on the Lakers in the past three seasons.
However, she was non-committal on Walton's future, saying that all basketball decisions will be made by Lakers president Magic Johnson, who once criticized Walton this season after a poor 2-5 start.