Los Angeles Lakers: Stan Van Gundy wrong with Luke Walton assessment

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images) /

With the Los Angeles Lakers’ season now in the books, the rumors that changes are going to be made this summer are at an all-time high and after Magic Johnson’s shock decision to walk away for the organization last night, there’s one rumor that has been around all season which is very much still alive.

Ever since I can remember, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton has been the subject of many conversations and not for a positive reason either.

The Lakers’ head coach seems to have found himself in a very tough situation for a while now, and even though it’s understandable that his position as the coach of this team is in jeopardy, it seems as that he very much has the backing of owner Jeanie Buss.

Buss has stated many of times that she still feels that Luke is the right man to lead this team, even though the Lakers records over the last two seasons have been horrendous and quite simply not acceptable, so for one reason or another he still remains in his job.

That, of course, could be about to change if the latest rumors that Buss has finally run out of confidence in Walton and gave Magic Johnson the green light to fire him shortly before he walked away from the team.

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Now, it’s safe to say we don’t know and may not know if that will still be the case (at least for now anyway). However, given that general manager, Rob Pelinka, was on board with Magic’s idea of wanting to end Luke’s three-year reign in charge, we could still see it happen. Should the rumor finally materialize and the hierarchy decides that it’s time to move on, then nobody will really be shocked.

However, not everybody believes that it’s a good idea and quite rightly everyone has their opinion on the matter. So when former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy was recently asked his thoughts on the matter recently by TMZ Sports, the Former Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic coach had his say and he believes the Lakers should stick with Walton.

"Van Gundy told TMZ: “Luke’s done a great job and should remain their coach.”Van Gundy did go on to add “Whether he will or not, I don’t know. I don’t make those decisions. But I think he should.”"

As much as I respect his opinion, I am sincerely glad that he doesn’t “make those decisions”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing that as a direct “let’s get Walton out of here now!” statement. Instead, I am simply stating that if a decision was to be made, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the odds are firmly stacked against Luke.

While you could make the case that the Lakers did win 37 games this season, which is the most since Walton took the job, it’s still unacceptable, especially since this year’s team was the best group he has been given to work with.

There’s also the argument that injuries have played a big part as to why the team failed to make the playoffs this year. However, when making a decision like this after so long and so many rumors, you would have to go further than just one season of what could have been if not for health issues.

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98 wins in 246 games as head coach of the Lakers is not a good look for either party. Should Walton indeed be relieved of his duties, then that would ultimately be all that you would need to look at and nothing else.