Luke Walton

NBA rumors: Magic Johnson strikes aggressive tone in meeting with Luke Walton

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AP

NBA rumors: Magic Johnson strikes aggressive tone in meeting with Luke Walton

The Lakers are 3-5 through eight games, and their president of basketball operations isn't happy it.

On Tuesday, Magic Johnson met with Luke Walton and admonished the Lakers coach for the team's slow start, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

An excerpt from the report:

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 often-time volatile management style, including with his handling of Walton and the coaching staff, sources said.

Magic met with Walton the day after the Lakers returned home from a two-game road trip, which included losses to the Spurs and Timberwolves.

On Wednesday, the Lakers barely held on to beat the visiting Mavericks. Los Angeles led by 13 with a little over three minutes remaining but won by only one point.

The schedule isn't about to get easier, as the Lakers will play in Portland on Saturday and host the Raptors on Sunday.

Walton is in the third season of the five-year deal he signed with the Lakers in April 2016.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

What Giants coach Hensley Meulens and Luke Walton have in common

What Giants coach Hensley Meulens and Luke Walton have in common

With Bruce Bochy in Cooperstown on Sunday, Hensley Meulens managed the San Francisco Giants to an 8-5 win against the Milwaukee Brewers. His club gave him plenty of credit for steering the ship in Bochy's absence, but the record book won't.

Sunday's victory officially counts as a win for Bochy - No. 1,906, to be exact - and allows the San Francisco skipper to move past Casey Stengel into sole possession of 11th on the all-time wins list. Meulens, meanwhile, is still 0-0 as a manager. 

Three championship rings as coaches aren't the only things Bochy and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr have in common, then, as Kerr also earned some wins without being on the bench. Kerr missed the first 43 games of the 2015-16 NBA season, and then-Warriors assistant Luke Walton coached Golden State to a 39-4 record in his absence. 

Walton, however, did not get an official win to his name until his debut as Los Angeles Lakers head coach on Oct. 26, 2016, almost exactly one year after he coached the Warriors to a win against the New Orleans Pelicans. It's possible Meulens will follow in Walton's footsteps next season.

The 51-year-old interviewed for the New York Yankees' managerial opening this offseason, but New York ultimately opted to hire then-ESPN analyst Aaron Boone. Boone had never coached at the professional level prior to this season, while the multi-lingual Meulens has over a decade of experience coaching. He's coached in the big leagues since 2010, and managed the Netherlands at each of the last two World Baseball Classics. 

Luke Walton 'missed the corn hole' because of LeBron's decision

Luke Walton 'missed the corn hole' because of LeBron's decision

Where were you on Sunday, July 1 when LeBron James rocked the basketball world by announcing he was joining the Lakers?

Former Warriors assistant coach and current Lakers head coach Luke Walton had just returned to his Manhattan Beach home and was getting ready for a family barbecue ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

"I had just gotten back from the office, it was a beautiful Manhattan Beach day, and we had just opened up the pool cover and were getting ready to have a nice Sunday barbecue with a couple friends. We had corn hole being played in the backyard," Walton told ESPN recently.

That's when the career-changing news came down. LeBron's Klutch Sports Group had announced on Twitter that he had agreed to a four-year deal with the Lakers.

The news curtailed Walton's fun Sunday afternoon plans.

"I think I spent the next eight-and-a-half hours on the telephone. Missed my whole Sunday family barbecue. Missed the corn hole. The kids were already asleep by the time I got done taking calls," Walton said.

Now in his third season as Lakers head coach, Walton has a chance to be a part of his childhood team's return to the top of the NBA. He completely understands what it means to have a megastar like LeBron playing under the bright lights in Los Angeles.

"It's gonna be completely nuts, but it's also gonna be awesome. The whole city's gonna be behind us. We're gonna be on SportsCenter every night. If we lose, it's gonna be the end of the world. If we win, it's gonna be wild. But no matter what, it's gonna be fun," Walton said.

When the crazieness had settled down, Walton finally had a chance to reflect on what had just happened.

"I sat under the stars and said to myself, 'Damn, we got LeBron James on our team. The best player in the world is a Laker,'" Walton said.