Lakers Threatened To Void Lonzo Ball's Contract Over Unauthorized Surgery

Heather Diaz
April 14, 2019

It did not take long for a clear frontrunner to be identified after Luke Walton's departure as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. With a 35-47 record this season, Walton finished with a cumulative 98-148 coaching wins-losses record, while boasting a winning percentage of just 39.8%. It was a decision that had been rumored for a while and Johnson even alluded to it in the press conference when he resigned. League sources told The Bee that Divac reached out to schedule a meeting with Walton less than an hour after that announcement was made.

Lue, who played for the Lakers from 1998-2001, spent four years with James in Cleveland, first as a Cavaliers assistant before taking over as head coach and leading the team to the 2016 title.

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

As disappointing as 2018-19 may have been, the mandate with James on board and a handful of new veterans was a substantially different one than the one Walton originally signed on for.

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In announcing the end of his tenure, the Lakers said severing ties was a mutual decision between the franchise and Walton.

Inside sources are putting Lue in the front-running position due to his relationship with LeBron James, whom he was coaching when the Cavaliers won their first-ever National Basketball Association championship during the 2016 season.

Walton worked as an assistant with the Warriors from 2014-16.

Rondo, who is on the sixth team of his career, praised Walton for his ability to relate to players. If he accepts the gig he'll inherit a young, promising roster that just completed the franchise's most successful season in 13 years.

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