Luke Walton has had a pretty rough go of things over the past two weeks or so.
First, it was Walton’s starting point guard’s father LaVar Ball, who in an interview with ESPN, claimed that Walton had “lost control of the players,” and that “they didn’t want to play for him anymore.”
Then, Magic Johnson and the Lakers front office failed to even offer a media statement on the fiasco involving LaVar and Luke, choosing not to back up their head coach of their franchise against one of the parents of their own players.
This failure to support Walton’s position within the team has opened the floodgates for a host of rumors and whispers around the league indicating that Los Angeles could, in fact, be looking to move on from Walton as the head coach of the Lakers.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who appeared on The Rich Eisen Show on Friday, Walton’s job position may be opening soon, and there’s one candidate the Lakers are looking at very closely.
“I got executives in my ear, I got agents in my ear, saying, ‘Oh yeah, they’re probably going to hire David Fizdale,'”
If you’re Luke Walton right now, these rumors don’t inspire that much confidence in your job security. Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma was the only person within the franchise that publically came to Luke’s side after LaVar’s comments, whereas the likes of Magic Johnson stayed quiet, and Lonzo Ball even said he’d “play for anyone.”
Many were surprised by the firing of David Fizdale from Memphis in November, as it was rumored Fizdale took the fall after a disagreement with franchise star Marc Gasol. Fizdale — who grew up in LA — is considered a player’s coach, as he’s friendly with many stars around the league. That list includes Lakers free agent target LeBron James, who he coached as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat.
The Lakers currently sit at 14-27 on the season under Walton, and with subsequent loss the Lakers take, rumblings about a new coach in LA will only become stronger and stronger.