Basketball: Lakers say thanks and farewell to coach Walton

Walton reacts during a game between the Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Walton reacts during a game between the Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Los Angeles Lakers continued their clearout after a disastrous first season following the arrival of LeBron James by terminating the contract of coach Luke Walton on Friday (April 12).

The club said they had mutually agreed to part ways.

"We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years," said General Manager Rob Pelinka. "We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward." Walton, a former Lakers player, had been coach since 2016. The Lakers have failed to reach the playoffs for the last three seasons.

On Tuersday, Magic Johnson plunged the iconic franchise into crisis when he surprisingly quit his post as president. Johnson was reportedly unhappy at the prospect of firing Walton.

The Lakers are the fourth NBA franchise to unload their coach since Wednesday, following Memphis, Sacramento and James's former team Cleveland.