The arrival of LeBron James in the recent free agency was expected to turn the Los Angeles Lakers from a rebuilding team to a legitimate playoff contender in the Western Conference. James has been to the NBA Finals in the last eight years, so it’s not surprising why most people predicted the Purple and Gold ending their five-year playoff drought in the 2018-19 NBA season. Unfortunately, as of now, the Lakers are nothing but a disappointment.
Despite having the best basketball player on the planet, the Lakers are yet to get their first win of the season. With the Lakers on a three-game losing streak, Coach Luke Walton could be on the verge of losing his job. According to the popular gambling website Bovada (h/t Sam Amico of Amico Hoops), Walton has 7-4 odds to become the first NBA coach to be fired in the 2018-19 NBA season.
“According to popular gambling website Bovada, Walton stands a 7-4 chance of getting canned before the season ends. And common sense tells you that the odds of Walton lasting the season, compared to other coaches, aren’t always strong. It’s not always easy coaching LeBron James, a high-profile basketball star who expects success. Right now, the young Lakers are 0-3. That’s hardly panic time, or anything close, for a team with James. But as James has repeatedly admitted, any team with him on it usually involves some drama — real or simply created by outside sources.”
If they fail to end their struggle, it is highly likely that Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka will be forced to make a decision regarding Luke Walton, especially when LeBron James shows an extreme discontent with their current situation. However, Walton shouldn’t take all the blame with the Lakers’ inability to win games.
In their recent matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers would have gotten their first win if LeBron James didn’t miss the two crucial free throws. Also, the Lakers are currently playing without two of their starters, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram, who earned fines and suspensions after engaging in a brawl with Houston Rockets superstar Chris Paul.
Aside from Luke Walton, oddsmakers gave Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau 2-1 chance to lose his job before the 2018-19 NBA season ends. As of now, the Timberwolves are yet to find Butler a new home. However, unlike the Lakers, the Timberwolves look more ready to compete for a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference.