Report: Jeanie Buss gave Magic Johnson permission to fire Luke Walton

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

What a wild day. Magic Johnson has resigned his position as President of Basketball Operations, which is likely just the start of massive personnel changes for the Lakers organization. However, had Johnson stayed on, he had permission from Jeanie Buss to fire head coach Luke Walton following the season, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.

The decree was issued following Walton’s hesitance to rebuff his coaching staff.

Johnson, who held an impromptu news conference outside the Lakers’ locker room Tuesday to announce his resignation as president before the team’s final game of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers, had been displeased with Walton’s ability to effectively make in-game adjustments and he felt the coaching staff lacked the experience and expertise to foster player development, sources said.


Johnson wanted to replace Walton during the season, but Buss was reluctant to venture down that road until now, sources said.


The 59-year-old business mogul told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday he had the power to do what he saw fit for the franchise and said what would have transpired after exit interviews on Wednesday had nothing to do with why he made the shocking decision to resign.

I’ve been apathetic toward Walton’s job status for a few weeks. While I didn’t think he had done an excellent job, I also didn’t see too many coaching candidates that I would want to replace him. Now, following this report, I think that Walton needs to go.

Walton is a good defensive minded head coach, but his offense had been lacking all season. While you can put some of the disappointment on the shoulders of roster construction, Walton’s schemes were mediocre at best.

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