Lakers News: Jeanie Buss Champions Luke Walton As Part Of Long-Term Future
Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

After signing LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers added signed a multitude of veterans on one-year contracts in Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Michael Beasley.

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The group represents intriguing signings, with many seeing this team as one that head coach Luke Walton may struggle with. Walton was hired by the Lakers in April 2016 in what would be Mitch Kupchak’s and Jim Buss’ final season with the team.

When Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka took over the Lakers’ basketball operations, the two of them, as well as owner Jeanie Buss, gave Walton a vote of confidence amid speculation he’d eventually be replaced.

That never wavered despite Lavar Ball’s criticisms of Walton after a nine game losing streak last season. Buss, through it all, remains confident in Walton as the team’s long-term option at head coach.

In an interview Mark Willard and Bill Plaschke, Buss reiterated her confidence in Walton, explaining that his connection with players is important for the team:

“Luke is a coach that can be part of a long Lakers future, a lot of success. He’s somebody that connect with players. I feel really good about the team that he has and the kind of offense he’s going to run with the team that has been put together.”

Walton has been highly praised by the Lakers roster as well as coaches around the league. It’s also very telling the James was willing to sign with the team to a four year deal knowing Walton was at the helm.

The trio of Johnson, Pelinka and Buss have made many great moves thus far as they look to lead the Lakers franchise back to glory. So it stands to reason that they know what Walton is capable of with little reason to doubt them.

If Walton is able to corral the like of Rondo, Stephenson, Beasley and McGee, and cultivate a strong relationship with James, then it’s possible the Lakers really could outplay their expectations.

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