Luke Walton Will Be Lakers Coach Through Offseason, Jeanie Buss Says

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Philadelphia. The Lakers won 107-104. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Luke Walton isn't leaving the Los Angeles Lakers anytime soon.

Appearing on Cycle x ESPN's Buckets Tuesday night, Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss left no doubt when asked if Walton would still be the team's coach through the 2018 offseason.

"Absolutely. Luke Walton is the Lakers coach, period," Buss said, according to ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk. "There's no worrying about it, there's no speculation. He's done a terrific job. He is somebody that the entire front office, the organization is behind."

Buss endorsed Walton back on Jan. 13 when she tweeted, "#InLukeWeTrust," but Tuesday's comments were far more emphatic.

Combined, those statements should make it clear the front office has no intention of parting ways with the second-year head coach after LaVar Ball—the father of Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball—claimed he had lost the team during a nine-game losing streak.

"You can see they're not playing for Luke no more," LaVar told ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman. "Luke doesn't have control of the team no more. They don't want to play for him."

The Lakers have gone 7-2 since LaVar made those claims and improved to 18-29 overall by virtue of a 108-107 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

They'll aim for a fourth straight win Friday night at United Center against the Chicago Bulls.

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