Chris Szagola/Associated Press
Magic Johnson, president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, threw his support behind head coach Luke Walton after Saturday’s 107-101 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center.
He tweeted that Walton has the Lakers playing at a high level with four straight wins:
Earvin Magic Johnson @MagicJohnson
Coach Luke Walton has the @Lakers playing some of their best basketball of the season right now.
Walton has been the subject of criticism from LaVar Ball, father of Lakers rookie Lonzo, including last week, when he said the team has turned on its head coach.
“Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more,” Ball told ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman. “They don’t want to play for him. … Nobody wants to play for him. I can see it. No high-fives when they come out of the game. People don’t know why they’re in the game. He’s too young. He’s too young.”
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (via Slam‘s Ryne Nelson), appearing on Friday’s Rich Eisen Show, seemed to validate some of Ball’s criticisms by saying the Lakers “do not support” Walton and could hire former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale if they decide to move on from the 37-year-old.
On Saturday, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss tweeted she would be having dinner with Walton on Sunday night and used the hashtag “In Luke We Trust” to endorse the second-year head coach.
After losing nine straight games to fall a season-high eight games under .500, the Lakers have climbed out of the Western Conference cellar with a 15-27 record thanks to their current four-game winning streak.