Lakers' Magic Johnson rips report of LeBron James ignoring Luke Walton: 'That's not how it's going right now'
Magic Johnson is shutting down the notion that LeBron James runs the show in L.A.
What kind of day would it be if there wasn't a little bit of drama in Los Angeles?
Following a two-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Lakers are hearing the negative chatter yet again. According to a report by Brian Windhorst of ESPN, LeBron James is ignoring Luke Walton's coaching and play calls during games. In other words, the narrative is that LeBron is running the show in Los Angeles.
It's not much different from the narrative in LeBron's previous stops, such as when he "ran" the show in Cleveland with Tyronn Lue and David Blatt as the head coaches, and when he did the same in Miami with head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Except this time around, the actual boss, Magic Johnson, is publicly disputing these types of reports. According to Magic, the Lakers have a particular system that they have in place and that Windhorst's report of LeBron running the offense is false.
Via Siriux XM NBA Radio:
"Brian got it wrong. This is all about making sure that they can say something on ESPN and everybody can just talk," said Johnson. "We have a system the ball moves around, a lot of pick-and-roll plays. If you watch us play, the ball is not in LeBron James' hands all of the time. It can't be. Because you want to pass it around, you want to get into your pick-and-roll plays. But hey, we're the Lakers, people are going to be talking about us. But that's not how it's going right now."
This is the aforementioned quote that the interviewer is referencing from the Windhorst article.
"The scouts also have noticed that when James is running the point, he rarely looks toward the bench to receive playcalls from coach Luke Walton. Even when he has seen them, the scouts say, he ignores them and runs the play he prefers. Walton has adjusted, and now when James is running the show, Walton will typically just let him call the game. This probably shouldn't be considered a slight -- it's just James being James."
In fairness, if you read that entire article, it's not putting down the Lakers or Walton for bowing down to LeBron. It's actually an informative and statistically-based article that is stating that the Lakers are better when LeBron runs point guard.
However, people will take little excerpts from the article and try to paint it in a negative light. Sort of like what was done by the interviewer here.
The bottom line is, Magic is right. I'm not necessarily referencing the whole on-court argument regarding whether or not LeBron runs the Lakers' offense. I'm referencing the fact that the Lakers are in Los Angeles and people are going to be talking about them -- especially when it's something that they can spin in a negative light. LeBron and the Lakers are back in action Thursday when they host the Pacers (10:30 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension) as they try to end their two-game slide.
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