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Jeanie Buss’ support of Walton likely to prevent him from being fired

Dunk Wire logo Dunk Wire 2019-01-16 Erik García Gundersen
Jeanie Buss sitting on a stage: Getty © Getty Getty

Even if things were to go from bad to worse for the Los Angeles Lakers in tonight's matchup against the 10-33 Chicago Bulls, the smoke signals from Los Angeles indicate that there won't be a coaching change.

Although Magic Johnson couched his job guarantee for Luke Walton with the caveat "unless something drastic happens," and losing to the Cavs and Bulls back-to-back would probably qualify as that in a vacuum, Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka don't work in one

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, even if Johnson and Pelinka think it's time to move on from head coach Luke Walton, Walton's support from Lakers owner Jeanie Buss would overrule such a reaction.

It is also an open secret in Lakerland that Walton has the strongest possible backing from the owner Jeanie Buss. Even if the front office tandem of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka held Walton responsible for the Lakers' swoon and wanted to make an in-season change, Buss almost certainly would prevent such rashness.

As has been the case for a while, Walton has the trust of the most important person in the Lakers organization. Remember, Walton was hired by the Lakers before Buss made the decision to fire her brother Jim and former general manager Mitch Kupchak. That he was entrusted by Buss from the very beginning, even before bringing in Magic and Pelinka, is significant.

Over the past few years, both James' teams and the Lakers are no strangers to rumors of coaches on the hot seat. So it would make sense for those questions to come over Walton's job status. But even if they somehow manage to lose to the lowly Bulls tonight, Buss' fierce loyalty will likely prevent such a shift from happening overnight.

Also, the above goes to further demonstrate how different this situation is for James and his people than the one he left in Cleveland. With the Cavaliers organization, James held the utmost power a player could. With the Lakers and their palace intrigue, James certainly has a say but much of what happens in the organization is largely out of his control.


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