Apparently not even the ugly losses through the Los Angeles Lakers’ first 57 games of the season were enough to put head coach Luke Walton’s job in jeopardy. While the Lakers entered the NBA All-Star break with a 28-29 record and sit on the outside of the playoff picture, there’s no sign of an immediate change involving Walton. And even beyond that, it seems the front office is committed to backing their coach for the foreseeable future as well.
Los Angeles Times reporter Brad Turner recently joined the FnA podcast on iHeart Radio to offer some insight on the team’s current outlook. While he addressed topics such as the Ivica Zubac trade, Walton’s job security also came up and Turner offered an eye-opening report.
On Walton potentially being fired:
“After making several phone calls, I have been told it had never been discussed. It hadn’t been discussed even back in October when Magic [Johnson] lit into him. It had not been discussed after they lost to Cleveland [Cavaliers], after the last to the [New York] Knicks, after they lost to the [Atlanta] Hawks. It just has never come up in a discussion.” Turner stated.
“And based on that intel that I got, I believe all of them, that Jeanie Buss is committed to Luke, Magic Johnson the president and Rob Pelinka the GM, they’re all committed to Luke to try to get this turned around and try to get through the season. Based on all that, I can’t say I’m surprised, but it still caught me a bit off guard.”
While this news is interesting, it’s even more noteworthy considering Walton isn’t the odds-on favorite to be the Lakers coach at the start of the 2019-20 season.
Odds to Be Lakers Coach to Start 2019-20 Season
Just prior to the NBA All-Star break, Bovada revealed odds on the next head coach in Los Angeles. As Odds Shark revealed, Walton is No. 3 on the list of names to hold the job moving forward. The two options ahead of him include Jason Kidd (+125) and Mark Jackson (+200), along with a few other interesting options.
- Jason Kidd +125
- Mark Jackson +200
- Luke Walton +333
- Frank Vogel +800
- Kevin McHale +800
- Tom Thibodeau +800
- Phil Jackson +1500
- LaVar Ball +50000
Obviously, the addition of LaVar Ball to this list is a joke, but the other names are all worth noting. It seems highly unlikely that Phil Jackson would return, but apparently, it’s not being completely ruled out at this point.
Before the talk about the future coach of the Lakers (if there’s even a change) begins to ramp up, the focus remains entirely on a postseason push at this point. The Lakers sit two games back of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, a spot currently held by the Los Angeles Clippers with the Sacramento Kings also ahead of them.