Per Sam Amick of The Athletic, sources revealed that Luke Walton had a chance to keep his job as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers following the aftermath of Magic Johnson’s departure. In the report, sources explained that it was ultimately Luke’s decision to step away from the team in light of recent events surrounding his position.
“After former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson stepped down in such stunning fashion on April 9, sources say Walton was given the chance to stay on as head coach in a subsequent meeting that included owner Jeanie Buss. But Walton, who was already aware that Buss had given Johnson the full authority to fire him and who had long harbored concerns about general manager Rob Pelinka’s style, was ready to head for the exits himself.”
It seems Walton felt betrayed by the team, and Jeanie, for the uncertainty of his job status all season long. When it came time to pick, Walton clearly felt it was better to move on than to stay with a franchise that never really wanted him.
He has since been hired in Sacramento, but not without some more controversy. He was recently accused of sexual assault he allegedly committed as an assistant in Golden State and now has to fight an off-court battle as he and his new team attempt to build up their on-court roster.
As for the Lakers, it seems Jeanie has taken full control of the franchise. Judging by her apparent willingness to keep most of the front-office structure intact, there will be no “grant building” of the Lakers this offseason. As they hire a new coach and hopefully fill out the roster with superstars in free agency, she will continue to entrust the state of her team to her closest friends and advisors.