When LeBron James went down in the third quarter of a blowout win against the defending champion Golden State Warriors there has been trouble in Lakerland. The team is obviously missing their best player and focal point of their team but a 3-7 record has caused fans to look at head coach Luke Walton and his job security or in some extremes call for his firing.
However, it does not seem that Lakers owner Jeanie Buss would allow such a thing to happen, no matter how the team is currently playing. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Buss firmly believes in Walton and would step in if the front office wanted to make a mid-season change.
There is plenty that Walton can be blamed for during this stretch of games but without James, Rajon Rondo, and Kyle Kuzma for multiple games, there is a legitimate case that he isn’t entirely at fault.
With Walton having the backing of the most powerful person within the organization there is almost no chance that the team would fire him during the season, nor should they. The team was 20-14 prior to James going down and in his absence is currently led by nothing but young talent and a ragtag group of veterans.
There is also a sense around the team that they could be getting their superstar player back very soon and this would likely set the ship in the right direction.
For all of his shortcomings, it is important to remember that Walton is still a young head coach who is learning himself while trying to work with a roster that isn’t the most balanced in his first season with LeBron James. To the fans calling for his job, they will likely have to wait until the offseason at the very earliest.