Multiple sources have reported that LA Lakers small forward and international superstar LeBron James does not see Luke Walton as the coach to lead the Lakers going forward. Rumors have suggested that James and those close to him do not see the Lakers succeeding under the current structure in LA, and want to see a more experienced coach take over.
Luke Walton is in just his third year with the Lakers, a team that he took over after a franchise-worst season in 2015-16, when the Lakers went 17-65. Walton went 26-56 with LA in his first year as an NBA head coach. He followed up his rookie season by going 35-47 with the young Lakers last year.
This offseason, expectations skyrocketed after the Lakers secured LeBron James.The season started as well as it could have, with the Lakers in solid position in the west before LeBron’s injury. The Lakers have been without LeBron since Christmas Day, and have struggled during the stretch, going 5-10 without James. Now, the Lakers find themselves in 9th in the west, and 2.0 games back from a playoff spot, causing reaction from James, who is not interested in anything other than a postseason appearance at the bare minimum.
This is not the first time that LeBron has forced pressure on the head coach position of his team.
While playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015-16 season, it was reported that LeBron had issues with head coach David Blatt. During a tough stretch that season, Blatt was fired, with many speculating that James had influenced the decision. Blatt’s replacement, Tyronn Lue, was able to take LeBron and the Cavs to a championship after his arrival.
Oddly enough, the Blatt firing took place on January 22nd, 2016, around the same time of year. As the Lakers fall from playoff contention, look for the LA organization to consider making a similar coaching switch in response to both LeBron and the trend of team results.