Long before people thought he would be fired after the season, Luke Walton was reportedly told to “shut the f— up” by Magic Johnson when he tried to interject his thoughts during their October 30th meeting, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.
Johnson tried to downplay what went on in that meeting.
“I think everybody blew that up,” Johnson told reporters. “They over-blew it. Sometimes as a president, you have to have a tough meeting with a coach. We had a tough meeting. And after that, it was fine. And it’s been fine. I haven’t had any problems with Luke. People think we’ve had problems, but we haven’t had any problems. Just because I want us to be better and I want him to be better? If I had come back, we all had to be better, right? I’ve made mistakes myself. But also too, everybody had to be better. And that’s what it’s all about. But that’s my job, to demand that.”
Walton has one more guaranteed season remaining on his deal.
“It’s the right thing to do, the right move to make,” Johnson said of his decision to leave the Lakers. “And then that way, (Walton) can stay in place, hopefully build the team, coach the team the right way, and also, all the – what I didn’t like was the backstabbing and the whispering. I don’t like that. You know, I don’t like a lot of things that went on that didn’t have to go on. And so I hope that after tomorrow, the Lakers can head in the right direction – which we are.”
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