Los Angeles Lakers roundtable: Does Luke Walton deserves another chance?

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Lake Show Life contributors roundtable discussion: Should the Los Angeles Lakers retain head coach Luke Walton and what may happen moving forward.

The Lake Show Life Contributors discussed the future of the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching job in a roundtable, here is what they had to say.

Shereen Rayan:

The Lakers‘ front office needs to keep Luke Walton. He is probably, outside of Mark Jackson and Steve Kerr, the only coach who knows how to beat the Golden State Warriors who, as we all know, is the team to beat for a championship.

All those injuries to the starting lineup happened at the wrong time. Kobe talked about it being the issue that crippled the Lakers this season. Bryant is a fan of Luke’s who always thought he would be a great coach (The Mamba Mentality pg. 65 ).

Lance Stephenson also contributed the team’s issues to injuries last night after beating the Washington Wizards and breaking ankles:

Rumored replacement, Jason Kidd, also mentioned the injuries, conceding the same issue with the Lakers this season, seemingly not blaming coach Walton but saying he did an amazing job this year.

Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson got rid of all the CAA-Aaron Mintz’s players (D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle) and also Mintz’s star, Paul George, decided not to sign with the Lakers. That’s not a coincidence folks. Although I think Moritz Wagner is a wonderful young man with a lot of potential, wasn’t he partially drafted because he is a Michigan player (Pelinka’s alma mater)?

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The Lakers’ front office needs to not make a coaching decision based solely on what LeBron James wants, and maybe consider bringing back some of the players they have already developed.

If they had just kept the roster as is and added LeBron, and there were fewer injuries to the starting lineup, the Lakers would be in the playoffs. They need to heal and move forward, show that they have confidence in their employees and stop the revolving door.

Look at Ivica Zubac and Thomas Bryant after leaving the Lakers! Who developed those two? Luke Walton and his assistant coaches that’s who.

There is a ton of pressure on Magic and LeBron from fans that seems to result in knee-jerk decisions or in them seemingly losing their minds on what was thought of as a good trade for Anthony Davis. Give Luke Walton another year, he is not the problem,

Ed Schrenzel:  

Luke deserves a chance to coach this team when it’s at full strength. The front office has made so many mistakes so far. It’s time for them to clean up their act or be replaced. Luke has an experienced assistant in Brian Shaw. But no coach has enough experience or knowledge to deal with coach-killer LeBron James. Tyronn Lue is essentially a mediocre coach but James will probably force Magic to hire him.

Robert Marvi:

Luke got results when this team was healthy, and they were defending well and playing fast-break basketball during that time. It’s concerning that the top coaching candidates are LeBron lapdogs like Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson, and Ty Lue.

I can see this team winning the world championship next season if the right moves are made, but the perception that LeBron and his posse are running the Lakers organization, whether it’s true or not, is really concerning. In my opinion, LeBron is to blame for this season being a failure more than anyone else in the organization.

James Francuz:

Regarding Luke Walton, I think he deserves another chance as well. The team was definitely better when healthy. That has been an unfortunate setback this year. Supplemented by factors such as the drama that came with the trade rumors, it’s just been a rough, rough season.

I hope Walton isn’t the scapegoat because I concur with what was said earlier. He knows the Warriors’ system better than perhaps anyone out there, and to get to the promised land, you’re going to have to get through them.

It is fair to argue LeBron is the primary culprit for their issues. Granted, he stuffs the stat sheets nightly, the fiasco he kind of created within the locker room really led to a lack of trust within the organization at large. His actions around the trade deadline especially (let alone stuff like not participating in team huddles and calling out guys) destroyed team morale at a crucial point in the season. There is no denying that.

Jonathan Kiernan:

I think, unfortunately, Luke is going to be the scapegoat, even though Magic and Pelinka put a poor supporting cast around LeBron. They didn’t put Luke or LeBron in a position to succeed and Luke still did relatively well with what he had.

I think if he was to stay another year, they need to add better assistant coaches. Just like players need coaches to improve, progress and get better, so do head coaches. Luke is relatively new to the head coaching game and needs to have more experienced coaches around him who can provide years of knowledge and who can be strong at areas Luke is weak. I don’t think he gets that chance, and more than likely, Ty Lue is the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Dominic Torres:

I think the Luke Walton situation is sort of polarizing with different opinions here and there. I did write an article about how Luke should be kept last season, though some of those points that I made were already answered or are irrelevant to today.

There’s a very high chance that Brian Shaw could be the next head coach. Though he is a homer for his Celtics, Bill Simmons has discussed that there might be a huge possibility that Shaw can become the next “puppet” coach for LeBron in a talk that I believe he had with Russillo.

In the end, you really want to see stability within the Lakers front office/head coach/roster, and this season obviously is another one since 2013 where rumors keep spreading and everything seems to be tumultuous.

James Francuz:

Also, I concur with what a couple of you have suggested. I, too, would much rather have Shaw if Luke is given the boot. He would be a way, way better fit than Lue. Frankly, even a guy like Mark Jackson would be a stronger fit (at least he has some familiarity with Golden State, so that would be a bonus).

I feel for Luke. It’s not to say he’s been perfect in his decision making and rotations, but he did not build the roster. Outside of James, the other signings in the offseason were on the strange side of the spectrum. That by itself has accounted for some of the lack of success, in my opinion.

Ronald Agers:

Luke was never Magic Johnson’s hire. That sets a bad dynamic business-wise from the jump. With Jeanie Buss adamant about keeping Walton, that caused a rift in the front office. I believe that Walton was set up to fail with his roster concerns being ignored and “office politics” were in effect with all of the leaks.

No team can win without trust or without everyone being on the same page. Everyone wants to be like the Warriors but they don’t have the organizational structure of the champs. Magic Johnson will have his choice of coaches next year. If this team bombs again, he has to live up to his nickname and disappear.


On ESPN’s “The Jump” two out of three of the analysts agree with us that Luke needs another year with the Lakers.

Only Scottie Pippen didn’t agree, but he ignored all the injuries. Richard Jefferson has a lot to say and wants Luke to have a seat at the table with Magic and LeBron when it comes to players and makeup of the team. You think?

Next. 3 Candidates To Replace Luke Walton If He Is Fired. dark

The issues from this season started with major injuries in the starting lineup. Another issue was the trading and waiving of players the Lakers spent time developing. It’s also the pressure from fans to perform, but bottom line, it’s not the coaches fault, and Adrian Wojarnowski needs to shut up about this subject!