LaVar Ball doesn’t want Luke Walton coaching the Los Angeles Lakers. Whether his son, Lonzo Ball, feels the same is a matter up for debate. But LaVar made his thoughts clear this past weekend while speaking with ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman.
Plenty of people took exception to his comments, the prevailing theme of which centered on how Walton has lost his team. The Lakers, however, have yet to count themselves among the aggrieved parties—not publicly at least. Might this then be a sign that Walton’s job is in jeopardy?
The head coach himself doesn’t think so.
Pressed by reporters about whether he had the faith of Lakers brass moving forward, Walton indicated that he does, per ESPN.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk:
“Yeah. We’re, I feel, very secure in my job status right now,” Walton said. “We talk all the time. They’re 100 percent behind and supporting what we’re doing.”
There’s also this to consider, via both Youngmisuk and his colleague Ramona Shelburne:
Lakers majority owner Jeanie Buss tweeted strong support with the hashtag “InLukeWeTrust” on New Year’s Eve, and all indications have been that Walton’s job security is not an issue. A Lakers source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that Walton’s job status is “not even a conversation.”
We shouldn’t even be having this conversation. I shouldn’t be writing this post. This is all so very pointless. The Lakers are bad, because they’re still built to be bad. They’re young and filled with placeholders—guys playing for their next contract or auditioning for trade suitors. That’s not a recipe for success in the win column or behind the scenes.
Should LaVar have been given a forum to communicate his views on Walton? That’s yet another point of debate. But Walton’s job security specifically shouldn’t be. He’s not even through his second season at the helm of an extensive rebuild. Anyone expecting a better record or peachy-keen optics amid all the growing pains needs a reality check. Walton hasn’t necessarily proved he’s the right guy for the job long term, but he also hasn’t been given an opportunity to satisfy that burden of proof.
So, no, he shouldn’t be worried about his job status right now. The Lakers know better than to oust a coach for failing to outperform expectations. At least, by now, following the Byron Scott, Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni debacles, they should know better.