Published On: Fri, Apr 12th, 2019

Luke Walton leaves Lakers: The classy 27-WORD message GM Rob Pelinka has sent to coach | Other | Sport

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Much was expected of the Lakers this season with NBA superstar Lebron James among the Southern Californian organisation’s ranks.

But they failed to hit the heights expected of them after James suffered a campaign-derailing injury against Golden State Warriors in December.

The Los Angeles Lakers finished up 10th, well outside the playoffs spots, in the Western Conference with a disappointing record of 37-45.

And that’s ended up costing Walton his job, with the Lakers announcing on Friday night that an agreement had been struck to mutually part ways.

Pelinka was in no mood to bad mouth Walton, despite the pain of the Lakers not going beyond the regular season once again.

“We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years,” said Pelinka.

“We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward.”

Walton was equally classy in his own message after leaving the Lakers, paying tribute to the franchise, its owners and the city of Los Angeles.

“I want to thank Jeanie Buss and the Buss family for giving me the opportunity to coach the Lakers,” said Walton.

“This franchise and the city will always be special to me and my family.”

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

And a whole host of potential coaches have been tipped to come in to lead Lebron James and co.

Walton’s departure comes after president of basketball operations Magic Johnson announced on Thursday that he is leaving.

“I’m going to step down as the president,” Johnson said.

“Me and [Jeanie Buss] have an amazing relationship and she gave me full power for me to do what I wanted to do.

“And I think I had more fun when I was able to the be big brother and ambassador to everybody.”

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