Magic scolds Walton over Lakers' 3-5 start.
So much for preaching patience. Just eight games into the Lakers' season, team president Magic Johnson reportedly "admonished" head coach Luke Walton for the poor play thus far, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin.
Following the Lakers' recent two-game road trip, in which they suffered losses to the Spurs and Timberwolves, Magic reportedly held a meeting in which he made it clear that "there are intense and immediate pressures on Walton to deliver the franchise a winner in short order."
Johnson had previously noted how Walton and the Lakers would need some time to groom their young roster around four-time NBA MVP, LeBron James, but after a 3-5 start it appears his stance has changed.
"Johnson's aggressive meeting tone circulated to individuals throughout the organization, including to principal owner Jeanie Buss, league sources said. Throughout his tenure with the Lakers, Johnson has earned an internal reputation for an oftentimes volatile management style, including with his handling of Walton and the coaching staff, sources said."
In September, Johnson told reporters (H/T ESPN), "As I was talking to Luke [with Pelinka], we said, 'Don't worry about if we get out to a bad start. We have seen that with LeBron going to Miami, and we have seen that when he came back to Cleveland. He is going to struggle because there are so many new moving parts. But eventually we are going to get it, and we are going to be a really good team."
After a pair of road losses in San Antonio and Minnesota, the Lakers returned home on Wednesday and narrowly defeated the Dallas Mavericks by the final of 114-113. The Lakers will travel to Portland for a matchup against the Blazers on Saturday night, followed by a home game against Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors the following night.