Luke Walton has weathered the LaVar Ball storm pretty nicely, all things considered. Despite not getting a convincing endorsement from anyone that isn’t Kyle Kuzma, the Los Angeles Lakers head coach has joked and coached his way through what could have been a complete crisis for the Lakers.
Ball’s criticism of Walton isn’t likely to change anytime soon, but it seems like Walton knows how to handle it by now. Despite rumors indicating that he might be out at season’s end in favor of David Fizdale in an effort to land LeBron James, Walton has done a nice job making it sound like he’s blocked out the noise.
And on Friday night, Walton got a bit of good PR as Lakers owner Jeanie Buss tweeted about having dinner with her head coach. In the photo, Buss used the hashtag #InLukeWeTrust, which is a pretty significant endorsement of Walton.
The photo was clearly old, but the owner excitedly tweeting about getting barbecue with the somewhat-embattled head coach definitely seems like good news for Walton. And it’s not the first time Buss has used that hashtag before, here’s one from New Year’s Eve where Buss quoted Walton about times of struggle.
And as ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne reported on Saturday, the move was clearly to give some support to Walton amid the Brian Windhorst discussion about Fizdale and LeBron possibly heading for LA this summer.
Forget the fact that a hashtag counts as an endorsement for a head coach these days — we’re so far through the looking glass at this point it’s not even worth discussing. What matters here is that despite all the sway Ball seems to have with the Lakers and his son Lonzo, the person who actually makes decisions for LA doesn’t seem eager to get rid of Walton anytime soon.