Lakers News: Luke Walton Says He's '100 Percent' Past Magic Johnson Meeting

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 10:  Head coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin 'Magic' Johnson during the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 10, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Lakers defeated the Knicks 109-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Friday that he and Magic Johnson have moved past a highly publicized meeting that occurred earlier in the season.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Walton suggested that he and the Lakers' president of basketball operations are on good terms:

"We definitely talked about [the Oct. 30 meeting]. Me and him, one on one. We 100 percent have moved forward from it. I don't think it has changed anything. We still—it's still the ultimate goal, and there's time when I'll call him or go sit in his office and pick his brain on what he's seeing and what kind of suggestions he might have. But there's no—what's the word—discomfort. I don't walk in there, and it's like 'F---, I've got to go talk to Magic.' Like, I have no problem going in and sitting down with him and talking about what's going on without thinking about that at all."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin reported in November that Johnson "admonished" Walton in a meeting following the Lakers' 2-5 start to the season.

Wojnarowski and McMenamin noted that the meeting made Walton even more aware of the "intense and immediate pressures" to win immediately.

The Lakers haven't reached the playoffs since 2012-13, but they made significant changes to the roster during the offseason by adding LeBron James, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson to the young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball.

L.A. bounced back from its slow start to 2018-19, however it is currently only eighth in the Western Conference at 23-19.

The Lakers hold a two-game lead over the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings for a playoff spot.

James has been out with a groin injury since Dec. 25, and the Lakers are just 2-5 since then.

Los Angeles has the makings of a playoff team when LeBron is healthy, but it is unclear if the team will be able to compete with the likes of the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets come playoff time.

The Lakers may need to add another superstar alongside James in order to contend for a championship, but Walton will be tasked with taking the current roster as far as it can go this season under the watch of Johnson.

Zach Lowe was the guest on the latest edition of The Full 48 podcast and spoke about the Lakers and much more. To hear the Lakers discussion, jump to 31:26.

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