Shelburne: Lakers' Magic Johnson, Luke Walton Haven't Talked in Weeks Amid Rumors

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 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)
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A lack of communication is reportedly the latest sign of dysfunction within the Los Angeles Lakers organization.

"Luke Walton and Magic [Johnson] haven't spoken for weeks," ESPN's Ramona Shelburne said on The Jump on Tuesday, h/t NBA The Jump Fanpage. "That's a problem."

This comes after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that the Lakers are "an organization right now that is not aligned really on any level."

Going weeks without communication between a team president and head coach is troubling for any organization, especially one that needs to focus on trying to figure out how to end a six-year playoff drought.

Friction between Johnson and Walton has reportedly lasted all season, thanks to the sky-high expectations that come with four-time NBA MVP LeBron James. Wojnarowski and ESPN colleague Dave McMenamin reported Johnson "admonished" Walton just weeks into the season amid a 3-5 start.

And while Los Angeles responded with a 15-6 run, injuries would soon derail the team's season. Losing 10 out of an 11-game stretch in March officially put the nail in the coffin.

With a 37-44 record this season, Walton's overall record sits at 98-147 with one game to play in Year 3.

Walton, who has one guaranteed year remaining on his contract, told The Athletic's Bill Oram last month that he "fully expect[s] to be coaching this team again next year." 

"I just view it as outside noise unless someone from within tells me that that happened," Walton told Oram. "Unless someone from within our group is telling me that, I just view it like all the other things we've gone through as a team this year. Those are things that I don't have the time to worry about. I've got more important things to do like getting the team better and doing my job."

Of course, it may be tough for him to hear anything from the team if he isn't on good speaking terms with the president. If that's the case, a lack of communication could be worrisome.


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