Report: Jeanie Buss will defer coaching decision to Magic Johnson

Jeanie Buss
Nov 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers President Jeanie Buss before the game against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center. Bulls won 118-110. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With the season winding down, the Los Angeles Lakers are widely expected to part ways with head coach Luke Walton following the conclusion of a disappointing year. Walton has managed to evade those rumors for most of the season in part due to the support of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.

But as Bill Oram of The Athletic reports, Buss may no longer intervene to save Walton’s job, instead opting to allow the president of basketball operations to make that decision:

He has long had an ally in Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, but team sources have indicated that she will let Johnson dictate what the Lakers do on the bench.

Buss joined the Lakers in Milwaukee at the end of their recent five-game East Coast road trip. For part of the flight home on the team charter, Walton sat next to the owner. They talked about “a bunch of different things,” he said, without going into detail.

“We were on an airplane,” Walton told The Athletic. “We weren’t going to get too deep into anything.”

Regardless of what you think of Walton and the potential replacements for his job, this is the right move from Buss who has routinely stated that she will leave the basketball decisions to the people in charge of them.

At this point, the writing is probably on the wall for Walton. It’s no use having disagreements about him bleed into next season.

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