Tyronn Lue is 'strong frontrunner' for Lakers' coaching job

Tyronn Lue is 'strong frontrunner' for Lakers' coaching job

The Golden State Warriors coach heaped praise on Walton, his former assistant, who left three seasons ago to take the Lakers' job, a position he lost this week after LeBron James & Co. went 37-45 and failed to make the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.

What had always been speculated became a reality Friday afternoon when Luke Walton was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Speculation is already centering on James' former coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tyronn Lue, who was sacked by the Cavs after an 0-6 start to the second post-LeBron era.

Walton leaves the Lakers with two years remaining on his five-year deal.

"We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years". "We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward".

For 211 games between the 2015-16 season and the start of this campaign, Lue was the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading them to a title in 2016 while making NBA Finals appearances in 2017 and 2018.

"I want to thank Jeanie Buss and the Buss family for giving me the opportunity to coach the Lakers", Walton said.

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A formal announcement is expected as soon as this weekend, sources told ESPN, as Walton is meeting with Kings general manager Vlade Divac.

Walton and Divac could not be reached for comment, but others in the National Basketball Association were quick to react, including Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

"The Los Angeles Lakers and Luke Walton have mutually agreed to part ways".

Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka reportedly had to intervene when Lonzo Ball scheduled unauthorized ankle surgery. Walton's 246 games in charge were the most by any coach in the tumultuous near-decade since the franchise's last championship in 2010. Johnson, though, said that his relationship with Walton was fine after the incident, which he considered overblown. Luckily for Kerr, the state of the Warriors is the polar opposite of that of the Lakers. But the wheels came off in spectacular fashion when James and Rajon Rondo were injured during that game, sending the Lakers into a tailspin that they would never recover from.

In Williams' Pelicans tenure, he had a 173-221 record and made the playoffs twice, in his first and last seasons there. The current Lakers were the franchise's most successful team since their playoff drought began in 2013, but it wasn't enough to save Walton's job.

Ball reportedly traveled to OH in February to undergo a procedure on his injured left ankle at the urging of Foster, Ball's former Big Baller Brand partner whom Ball fired when $1.5 million allegedly went missing from his personal and business accounts.

"The Kings will offer Luke the roster he thought he had with the Lakers." said The Athletic's Bill Oram on Friday.

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