NBA: Lakers part ways with head coach Luke Walton

Rory Carroll, Reuters

Posted at Apr 13 2019 05:42 AM

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton watches the action against the Utah Jazz in the first half at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT, USA, Mar 27, 2019. Jeff Swinger, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Lakers and head coach Luke Walton have agreed to part ways after the team posted a disappointing 37-45 record and failed to end a playoff drought stretching back to 2013.

Walton spent two seasons at the helm of a team that struggled to find the right pieces to complement 15-time All-Star LeBron James in his first season in Los Angeles.

"We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years," Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said in a press release issued on Friday.

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

Walton said he was grateful to team owner Jeanie Buss for the chance to coach the team, where he won two championships as a player.

"I want to thank Jeanie Buss and the Buss family for giving me the opportunity to coach the Lakers," he said.

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

Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is seen as an early front-runner for the job, according to ESPN.

Lue, who won two championships with the Lakers as a player, coached James to a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.

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