According to one report, the camp of LeBron James is ready for the Los Angeles Lakers to move on from head coach Luke Walton. On a recent episode of the ESPN podcast “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective,” NBA insider Jackie MacMullan stated that James’ camp is open about wanting a coaching change in LA.
“It’s clear to me . . . that LeBron’s camp would like a coaching change,” MacMullan said, as transcribed by Silver Screen and Roll. “They’re not too subtle about that.” When Windhorst pointed out that James himself hasn’t spoken lately, MacMullan clarified that she was only speaking about the four-time MVP’s camp, saying, “Not LeBron, but all the people around LeBron, and they’ve made it known.”
Walton, who played parts of nine seasons with the Lakers, is certainly in a difficult spot. He was hired to take over a rebuilding team, that then signed James alongside their young core. He’s accumulated a record of 87-127 in his three seasons with the club, but apart from 34 appearances by James, Walton has never had any talent of note on his roster.
General manager Rob Pelinka and President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson reportedly want to hire their own coach (Walton was hired before they came on board), though owner and president Jeanie Buss is reportedly not on board with making a coaching change. All of this, of course, leaves Walton in a bizarre position.
Should the Lakers move on from Walton, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him grab another NBA head coaching opportunity elsewhere, or even the vacant job at his dad’s alma mater, UCLA. Then again, he had two very successful seasons as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, including leading the Dubs to a record-setting 24-0 start in 2015 while Steve Kerr was sidelined due to health issues. So maybe he’ll find his way back to the Warriors bench . . .