Lakers’ Jeanie Buss reiterates support for Luke Walton

Los Angeles Lakers Team President Jeanie Buss, during The Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission (LASEC) 13th annual LAKERS ALL-ACCESS, at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Monday, February ,27, 2017. ( Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily News / SCNG )

As she pondered hiring Magic Johnson first as an advisor and subsequently to oversee the team’s basketball operations, Lakers governor Jeanie Buss pressed Johnson on one specific topic to make sure they held similar views.

“What was important to me was how he felt about our coach, Luke Walton,” Buss said on a recent podcast with Forbes Sports Money. “Luke Walton is somebody I believe can be our coach for the next 10 or 15 years as long as we don’t kill him.”

It turns out Johnson agreed with Buss with as much conviction as the beliefs they share in holding the previous front office in Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak largely responsible for the Lakers two weeks away from missing the NBA playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

“I believe if we build with Luke in mind, he is somebody that can be around a long time,” Buss said. “That is exactly what Magic Johnson said.”

Buss reported that Johnson said those words when the two had dinner prior to the Lakers’ game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on Jan. 31. Jeanie Buss and Johnson have both said they had dinner partly to console Jeanie Buss grieve after she and Knicks president Phil Jackson recently canceled their engagement. But the meeting also entailed talking about the state of the Lakers, which then led to Jeanie Buss offered Johnson an advisory role.

“Wherever anybody felt he could help, they were asking for the help except in the basketball department,” Jeanie Buss said. “That was disappointing to me. I felt like it was time to make a change.”

So, Buss fired Kupchak and Jim Buss on Feb. 21, about three weeks after Johnson’s initial hire and two days before the trade deadline.

Since then, Johnson traded veteran guard Lou Williams to Houston for a first-round pick and veteran forward Corey Brewer while also exchanging 32-year-old guard Marcelo Huertas for 22-year-old guard Tyler Ennis. The Lakers also negotiated a buyout with veteran guard Jose Calderon before signing David Nwaba after he spent the past season with the team’s Development League affiliate, the D-Fenders.

Johnson also hired Rob Pelinka as the team’s general manager after serving as a longtime players agent, including former Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. Since then, Johnson has often watched Lakers’ practices and provided individual feedback to players in collaboration with Walton.

With the Lakers’ rebuilding fortunes mostly resting on the NBA draft lottery on May 16 and in free agency beginning on July 1, Jeanie Buss stated, “I have complete confidence Magic will lead us there.” Meanwhile, Johnson and Pelinka have offered the same optimism regarding Walton.

“He would build the team around Luke Walton,” Jeanie Buss said of Johnson’s plans.

Jeanie Buss wanted to hear those words, citing Jackson’s presence with the Lakers that yielded five NBA titles and the sustained success of the San Antonio Spurs.

“I saw from my experience with Phil Jackson that if you can build a foundation of players who know the system that you want to play, the style of play you want to play,” Jeanie Buss said. “The Spurs have done it the best where they have a core group of players, and then they have kind of switch pieces as they need to.”

All of which Buss leaves wondering about one thing.

“Next season Los Angeles is hosting the NBA All Star game at Staples Center and I’m concerned we won’t have an All Star on the team,” Buss said. “That would break my heart.”

RELATED:

Lakers’ Luke Walton says team plans to talk to NBA about long one-game trips

Who will be the next Laker to receive a statue?

Shaq has ‘great emotions’ before Lakers unveil statue

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mmedina@scng.com. Subscribe to the “We Want Tacos” podcast on iTunes.

  • http://secure93.com Victor Andrews

    Owner of Google!, is advising users to get started with “Work at home” practice, that I have already been doing for over a year now. These days only, I generated close to $36k by far with no more than my home computer as well as some extra time, although i have a full-time 9 to 5 job. Even people new to this, can earn $50/per h successfully and the profit can go much very high over time… This is how i started >> http://kxk.me/?G79a8

  • http://secure93.com Leonardo Peterson

    M­a­n­y p­e­o­ple desire t­o ha­v­e a high earnings at their, bu­t t­he­y do­n’t kno­w ho­w t­o exactly d­o th­at o­n th­e Int­ernet. Th­ere ar­e a a number of w­ays t­o ea­rn significant am­ount of mo­ney, b­ut wh­enev­er p­eopl­e t­ry th­at the­y g­et tr­app­ed in a fraud, Thus Now I am sh­aring wi­th yo­u a g­enuine an­d gu­arante­ed w­ay f­or fre­e to ea­rn hug­e am­ount of mon­ey a­t ho­me.I am earning atleast $10000 each month since 1 year.Its an internet based job and also very simple to do, Even a little child can do this work and make money on the internet. If you want a happy and rich life then you need to copy and paste this web-site in browser and then follow instructions to get started today and make Thousands Over the internet……….. http://b1z.org/38Z

  • http://secure49.com Leonardo Hunter

    St­art making more profit each week… This can be a valuable side work for anyone… Best part about it is that you can do this job from comfort of your house and start getting $100-$2000 each week … Apply now and get your first check by the end of this week…And the best part about it is that you can work when it’s convenient to you.If this interests you then read more info here >>>>> http://mybm.com/cKrGS

  • http://secure93.com Joel Morris

    If you in look for authentic web based making money opportunity and you are sick of on-line scams then this is actually what you need. I began working on this work 2 years and Now I am making $7000 each and every mnth effortlessly. Make money same as me… Have a look at info >>>>>>>>>>> http://www.doshort.com/58r3