Rumors are building that the L.A. Lakers could be eyeing former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale as a potential replacement for coach Luke Walton.
During a recent appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, Brian Windhorst of ESPN shared, “whatever you want to say about LaVar Ball, he has smoked the fact that the Lakers do not support Luke Walton. And that is now crystal clear. And there are now guys out there wondering openly to me – executives, coaching agents – ‘I wonder who the Lakers are going to hire as their next coach.’ Because that has been revealed here, that they do not have unconditional support for Luke. You want to know what people are saying behind the scenes? You want to know what they’re saying? What coach has LeBron tweeted about most recently? Los Angeles native David Fizdale.”
Ball recently blasted Walton in an ESPN interview as having “lost control of the team” and has also frequently criticized him for not playing point-guard son Lonzo enough in critical situations.
Adding to the intrigue, Lavar Ball is on record in asserting he sees free-agent to be LeBron James wanting to work his way to L.A. and play under Fizdale, who has ties to him dating back to their days in Miami.
After being slow to react to all Ball’s prognostication, Lakers president Magic Johnson and owner Jeanne Buss recently expressed their support for Walton, who, even with the team on a four game-winning streak, is on pace to post the worse record of any Lakers coach getting a third season in history.
“So proud of my Lakers players and Coach Walton for winning their 4th game in a row against the Mavericks,” Johnson recently tweeted. “Coach Luke Walton has the Lakers playing some of their best basketball of the season right now.”
What it’ll all mean remains to be seen, with Lavar Ball showing few signs of letting up in his anti-Walton crusade.
“Even if you bring in a LeBron or a [Paul] George, he can’t coach them guys,” he said. “What is he gonna tell them? He’s too young. He has no control.”