The Los Angeles Lakers are no longer in playoff contention, but head coach Luke Walton is still doing what he can to stay focused on the 2018-19 NBA season.
It is no secret there has been plenty of speculation regarding Walton’s future with the storied franchise. His tenure up to this point has been underwhelming and reports have started to swirl about president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka potentially going in another direction.
All the talk surrounding the team can be distracting for both the coaching staff and players alike as they try to maintain a positive mindset down the final stretch of the season. Walton has had to deal with his fair share of noise as both the head coach of the Lakers and LeBron James.
However, the third-year head coach is focused on the present when asked about his job security prior to the team’s 124-106 win over the Washington Wizards.
“Well, we focus on what is important to us and things that we can control for players, our coaching staff, everyone,” Walton explained.
“We got a job to do. It’s our job to come out, continue to work, continue to try and get better, continue to try and win ball games. That’s what we give our time, our efforts, and our thoughts to.”
Walton knows full well about the kind of attention Los Angeles can garner considering his history as both a head coach and player in the second-largest media market in the nation. As a result, the Lakers are one of the few teams that manage to make headlines regardless if they are playing well or not.
Their struggles throughout the season were undoubtedly magnified by James’ arrival in free agency. The combination of injuries and lackluster play during important stretches proved to be too much for the Lakers to overcome.
Despite all their setbacks, the brunt of the blame has been pinned on Walton and he is now sitting in perhaps the hottest seat in the league because of it. While the 39-year-old’s future in Los Angeles remains uncertain, it is safe to say that he is looking to win as many games as he can down the final stretch.