Lakers’ Walton receives support from Buss, Magic

Luke Walton received a strong show of support from Lakers majority owner Jeanie Buss on Saturday.

Jeanie Buss has done something the rest of the basketball world has been unable to do — circumvent the outrageous verbiage LaVar Ball has been spewing, without dignifying it by mentioning him by name.

Ball, the father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, recently criticized Lakers coach Luke Walton by telling Jeff Goodman of ESPN that the coach had “lost the team” during a recently nine-game slide.  He added, “they don’t want to play for him.”

Knowing a response was necessary, Buss, the majority owner of the Lakers, tweeted a photograph of her having dinner with Walton and general manager Rob Pelinka.

The photo was accompanied with the message, “On my way to #Memphis for #Lakers game. Dinner with Rob and Luke tomorrow night. Barbecue!!”

She ended the message with the hashtag, #InLukeWeTrust. The Lakers play at Memphis on Monday.

Reports surfaced Friday that former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale was being linked to the Lakers, as our own Ashish Mathur addressed.

Buss’ tweet Saturday was a strong show of support for Walton.

Her including #InLukeWeTrust in her message was the second time she’s included that hashtag in a tweet since New Year’s Eve. More importantly, it was the first time anyone among the Lakers management team publicly expressed support for Walton since Ball’s statements last week about him “losing the team,” made from Lithuania, where his other sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, are playing.

Since those statements, the Lakers (16-27) have reeled off four consecutive victories, the latest being a 107-101 win in overtime Saturday in Dallas. The winning streak followed a six-game losing streak, which led up to Ball’s comments regarding Walton and his status.

For his part, Walton, who had a meeting with Magic Johnson, the team’s president of basketball operations, said he’s received nothing but support from Buss and Johnson.

“Jeanie has always been great,” he said. “There is no doubt that they support me. I haven’t seen the tweet but again, I don’t have twitter. But I know they support [me and the coaching staff].”

After the victory Saturday in Dallas, Johnson took to Twitter to congratulate the team and Walton, specifically.