Lakers, Luke Walton finalize divorce everyone saw coming

Lakers, Luke Walton finalize divorce everyone saw coming

The Los Angeles Lakers couldn't quite figure out what to do with Luke Walton even after Magic Johnson's departure as team president.

"We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service", said Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka. "We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward".

"This franchise and the city will always be special to me and my family", said 39-year-old Walton, who won the National Basketball Association twice as a Lakers player. "This franchise and the city will always be special to me and my family".

Walton, who played for the franchise from 2003-2012, has been its head coach the past three seasons.

Walton was brought in the year after Kobe Bryant retired to oversee a rebuilding of the team.

If Walton is hired by the Kings, he would inherit a young roster and at 39-43 a team coming off a surprisingly successful season.

Kerr offered a ringing endorsement of Walton on Friday when reporters in Oakland asked him about the situation in Los Angeles. Walton just couldn't coax enough wins out of the Lakers, who ruined their second-half playoff hopes with confounding losses to bottom-dwellers NY and Phoenix. The conversations didn't go very far, however, as it was obvious to both sides that the Lakers had planned to fire Walton before Johnson abruptly stepped down on Tuesday night. Expectations increased considerably when the team added superstar LeBron James via free agency.

Walton's future was the subject of plenty of speculation after the Lakers failed to reach the playoffs.

"I'm going to step down as the president", Johnson said. The Lakers' season fell apart during the longest injury absence of James' career, and they ended the season with almost every important player in their young core sidelined by injuries. He won 26 games in his first season, then 35 and 37 in following seasons. "They did everything right, I'll say that".

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