Lakers' Johnson, Buss tweet support for Walton


DALLAS -- For the first time since LaVar Ball's critical comments, Los Angeles Lakers majority owner Jeanie Buss and team president Magic Johnson tweeted support for coach Luke Walton on Saturday. Buss posted a picture of her sitting at a dinner table with general manager Rob Pelinka and Walton while tweeting that she was on her way to Memphis for this weekend's Martin Luther King Jr. events surrounding the Lakers-Grizzlies game on Monday.
— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) January 13, 2018
Then, after the Lakers won their season-high fourth consecutive game with a 107-101 overtime win in Dallas, Johnson tweeted praise for Walton twice after the organization had been silent since LaVar Ball said Walton had "lost" the Lakers locker room on Sunday.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 13, 2018
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 13, 2018
Sources close to the situation told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that Buss became concerned that the situation was escalating after rumors connecting the team to former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale surfaced Friday. The primary owner of the Lakers wants to reassure Walton of the team's commitment to him as coach, now and in the future, sources said.
"Jeanie has always been great," said Walton, who has met with Johnson and says he has received support from the front office as the Lakers continue to rebuild. "There is no doubt that they support me. I haven't seen the tweet but again I don't have twitter. But I know they support [me and the coaching staff]."
While this is the second time Buss has tweeted "#InLukeWeTrust" since New Year's Eve, this is a strong endorsement for Walton since it was the first time anyone from Lakers management has publicly expressed support for him since LaVar Ball told ESPN's Jeff Goodman on Sunday that the coach had lost the team during a nine-game losing streak and that "they don't want to play for him."
Past indications have been that Walton's job was not in jeopardy, with a Lakers source telling Shelburne on Sunday that Walton's job status is "not even a conversation."
Walton, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma all disagreed with LaVar Ball's statements, with Kuzma defending the coach and saying the team stands with Walton. Lonzo Ball said he did not think Walton had "lost" the locker room and that the point guard just wanted to play basketball. The rookie said he does not choose who the coach is and that his father is a grown man who will always express his opinions.