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Lakers coach Luke Walton believes his job remains safe

By in Press Enterprise on January 5, 2018

By Bill Oram

EL SEGUNDO – Despite the Lakers dramatic December slide, Coach Luke Walton said he does not believe his job is in jeopardy.

“I don’t,” Walton said Friday morning. “I coach as if it’s not.”

His comments came less than a week after owner Jeanie Buss offered an apparent endorsement of Walton, the team’s fourth coach since 2013, tweeting, “#InLukeWeTrust” on New Year’s Eve.

Thank you for the unwavering support. We will get there and it will be sweeter because we went through the tough times together. Luke Walton: “We will get through this and we will be stronger when we do.” #Lakers Family #InLukeWeTrust https://t.co/tSsut2NJlf

— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) December 31, 2017

The Lakers will enter Friday’s matchup with Charlotte at 11-26, the second-worst record in the NBA. They have lost eight consecutive games and suffered their worst loss of the season, 133-96, to Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

While this is the point other franchises might start looking to make a change on the bench, the Lakers seem to remain committed to Walton, who is in his second season after being lured from the Golden State Warriors.

Walton said focusing on his job status would send the wrong message to his team.

“As I preach to my players that I control what I can control in life,” he said, “that’s got to be my philosophy as well.”

President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka have “been great,” Walton said.

“They’ve been supportive,” he continued. “They obviously understand where we’re at as a team and what we’re trying to do and what our big picture is. When you’ve got a young team that’s battling and fighting, playing well and has some injuries and you get into the dog days of the NBA season, they’re both fully aware of what […]    

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