As an aside, Luke Walton’s job is safe this year, but if LeBron and George arrive next year with their mouth parts full of demands and instructions to the front office and coach, Luke is just too inexperienced and doesn’t have a long enough track record to stand up to them. And management — which is to say, the dysfunctional owners and Magic Johnson — won’t have his back.
Johnson was a magnificent player. Man, was he ever. I don’t think he’s a manager at the same level. And when he’s talking to young Walton, he’s *talking.* I don’t expect he’s listening much. I think Magic wants Walton to be compliant and obedient, not creative and forceful. A compliant coach is a coach who can’t get LeBron or George or anyone else to buy into his system or do the mundane work necessary to fit into it. Magic above, LeBron and George below: those are some awfully strong personalities. A young coach will be crushed between them.
If he remains, he’ll be a weak coach, the Lakers will underperform and his head will go on the block.
If Luke is smart, he’s already talking to Jerry West about moving to the Clippers as coach. West knows Luke’s value; Luke just needs to land where management has his back. I think he can get that at the Clippers. I don’t think he will under Magic.