What should we make of LeBron James going to bat Luke Walton as Lakers head coach?
The Lakers have hit rock bottom. Magic Johnson’s surprising exit stole the spotlight from Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzski’s final home games. With Johnson gone, the focus now moves on to what the organization will do with head coach Luke Walton. Should Jeanie Buss fire him? Or will LeBron James push to keep him?
On the latest edition of The Crossover podcast, Chris Mannix and Rohan Nadkarni debate whether it is too late for LeBron to defend Walton and more.
(Listen to the latest Crossover podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Chris Mannix: The Lakers just ended their disappointing season—one that will most likely result in the firing of Luke Walton. But Walton got himself some support from none other than LeBron James. In an interview with Spectrum SportsNet, he said:
“(You have to) control what you can control, and you’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt. “I think (Walton) played the hand as well as he could. “Nobody expects for injuries to happen the way they did with our franchise this year. … I’m not talking two or three games here, everyone’s back in the lineup. We’re talking 15, 20, 25 games. I saw something the other day where myself, B.I. (Ingram), Zo (Ball) and Kuz (Kyle Kuzma) only played 23 games together this year. 15-8. We had a defensive rating of fourth in the NBA, and we were like seventh in offense when we played together in 23 games. As good as that is, it’s not enough for Luke to even be able to know what h