Magic Johnson reprimands coach Luke Walton after Lakers’ 3-5 start, report says

Luke Walton

Johnson made Walton aware there is immediate pressure on him to deliver a winning team, according to ESPN.

Lakers coach Luke Walton is taking some heat from team president Magic Johnson after a 3-5 start.

Johnson “admonished” Walton for the Lakers’ performance so far this season and made the coach aware there is immediate pressure on him to deliver a winning team, according to ESPN, citing unidentified league sources.

The report adds: “Evidence is mounting that Walton’s job security ultimately depends upon his ability to significantly improve upon a 3-5 record to start the season.”

The Lakers are under pressure after signing LeBron James during the offseason, but they haven’t figured out their starting lineup yet. Two starters, forward Brandon Ingram and guard Rajon Rondo, missed games due to suspensions and guard Lonzo Ball started training camp on a minutes restriction after offseason knee surgery.

“I think Luke’s trying to figure out what works best,” James said. “We knew it was going to be like that from the summer when ‘Zo had the knee surgery. We knew we were going to have a lineup change there. Obviously, we had the unexpected one when we had the suspensions, so we had a lineup change there. …

“We’ll get to a point where we know how comfortable we need to be with different lineups.”

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Lakers had utilized 93 different player combinations through their first seven games, second only to the Hawks’ 122.

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