It’s no secret that Luke Walton has been faced with criticism for most of this season both from the fans and the front office. The Los Angeles Lakers head coach did not have any support from Magic Johnson or Rob Pelinka as noted from a piece from Bill Oram of the Athletic. The communication, or lack thereof, in regard to roster construction and accountability, has been well documented as the 2018-2019 season went on.
Now it’s been reported that Magic Johnson and Luke Walton have not spoken to each other in weeks. According to ESPN on “The Jump”, Rachel Nichols spoke about the discourse of the season, and Ramona Shelbourne spoke about how Luke Walton and Magic Johnson haven’t spoken in weeks.
I opened #TheJump noting how so many of the Lakers' issues have zero to do with Luke Walton, so whether they fire him or not, they can't expect change until they face their deeper truths. Then @RamonaShelburne reported Magic hasn't spoken to Luke in weeks, and everyone went nuts: pic.twitter.com/fDgJaIKs3C
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 9, 2019
It’s the easiest thing to fire the head coach, it takes the pressure off the FO, cause it says “look at this! we’ve done something gosh darnit” and it is simpler and less expensive than trying to move a core of players.
Ramona then went on to speak about Magic Johnson and Luke Walton.
The Lakers need a head coach that has cohesion with the front office. Jeannie Buss has made it very clear that she will let Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka make the final decision. Luke Walton and Magic Johnson haven’t spoken in weeks.[…]That’s a problem. The season has been over for some time, they’re not gonna make the playoffs.
If you’re in a position where the head coach and the front office are not in lock step, there is not trust, or relationship there, that has had 2 years to build, then what are you doing as an organization?
This season has seen the deterioration of their relationship; with Magic Johnson ready to fire the coach if not for the intervention of Jeannie Buss.
Now, it may seem like that won’t be the case.
Luke Walton is one of the remnants of the last Laker regime. He was never known as Magic’s “guy”. With rumors swirling around about potential candidates popping up more often as time goes on, it seems more than likely that front office will get their choice at head coach soon. Ramona spoke about how there needs to be synchronization between the front office and coaching staff and she’s right.
Luke has acknowledged his shortcomings but we also have to note that injuries played a huge factor. Whether he remains the head coach, the thing is we have to see how the FO responds. Until Magic and the rest of the front office take accountability, it may be a while till we see the Lakers reach the peak again.