In the NBA, rumors and speculations are not just swirling around players but also to the coaches, especially when their respective teams are struggling during the season. The Cleveland Cavaliers recently fired Tyronn Lue after the team went on a 0-6 start. As of now, two other coaches – Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers and Tom Thibodeau of the Minnesota Timberwolves – are being closely monitored and if things don’t go their way, one or both of them could follow Lue’s footsteps.
Even before the 2018-19 NBA season started, rumors are already circulating around Tom Thibodeau and his future with the Timberwolves. However, Thibodeau has tried not to let those things affect his job. When the Timberwolves faced the Lakers on Wednesday night at Staples Center, Thibodeau talked about Luke Walton’s situation in Los Angeles and offered him advice, according to Lakers Nation.
“I think for any coach, that’s the challenge of coaching in this league, is to not get distracted,” Thibodeau said.
“Luke has been around. I think he has a big advantage too with his dad being an NBA player growing up, so he’s been around a lot of things. I think he’s got a great demeanor. I watched him when I had an opportunity to visit with Golden State, and was very impressed with him there. In coaching, you’re going to be thrown a lot of things. I don’t think when it was going great for him, he never got too high.”
Despite having arguably the best basketball player on the planet in LeBron James, the Lakers struggled earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season. Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson held a meeting to address the issues on the team and reportedly admonished Luke Walton for their slow start. However, Johnson also insisted that Walton will be coaching the Lakers for the rest of the season unless something drastic happens.
So far, Tom Thibodeau believes Luke Walton has been handling the situation professionally. As the Lakers have veterans with championship experience such as Rajon Rondo and LeBron James, Thibodeau said any pressure on Walton should be eased. Since Johnson’s meeting, the Lakers are doing better and have won three of their last four games. They also managed to address their weakness at the center position with the acquisition of Tyson Chandler from the buyout market.
Meanwhile, Tom Thibodeau and the Timberwolves continue to struggle and are currently on a four-game losing streak. The drama surrounding Minnesota isn’t expected to end until the Timberwolves finally find Jimmy Butler a new home this season.