LeBron James finally met with Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton during his trip to Las Vegas over the weekend. Based on what we know of the meeting, they seem to be on the same page.
Obviously there’s a bit of coachspeak there from Walton, but the message is that James is clearly focused on the right things.
LeBron has always respected and worked well with people how know basketball. By all accounts, Walton has a brilliant basketball mind, so the two should get along swimmingly.
Before the meeting, Walton reached out to Tyronn Lue and Erik Spoelstra, who have previously coached James. He also talked to LeBron’s former teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye. Both Jefferson and Frye are Walton’s friends and the trio played in college together.
It’s safe to say the Lakers’ coach was prepared for the meeting.
The speculation that James would come in and push for Walton to be fired was always ridiculous. He wouldn’t have picked the Lakers if he had a issue with the head coach. Especially a head coach as supported by the front office as Walton is.
Walton’s system emphasizes spreading the floor and spreading the ball around, something James must embrace if he wants to age gracefully. He can’t continue to carry as heavy a burden as did the last four years in Cleveland and expect to play much longer. It’s just too hard on his body.
He and Walton will almost certainly find ways to make this an easy partnership.