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Former AZ b-ball player Luke Walton fired as Lakers head coach

LOS ANGELES, CA – (AP) The Los Angeles Lakers say they have mutually agreed to part ways with coach Luke Walton after three losing seasons.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka announced Walton’s departure Friday.

The former Lakers forward went 98-148 in his first permanent head coaching job. The former Golden State assistant never led Los Angeles to the playoffs, even with the arrival of LeBron James last summer.

Walton leaves three days after the Lakers ended their 37-45 season with the abrupt resignation of president of basketball operations Magic Johnson.

Johnson attributed his decision in part to his desire to fire Walton, who is close to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.

Instead, Pelinka announced the move in a possible sign of his increased power with the Lakers after Johnson’s departure.

Paul Cicala

Paul Cicala

2-Time "Edward R. Murrow Award" winner as both sports & news reporter; Multiple-EMMY nominations; Multiple Associated Press (AP) Awards in sports & news reporting/anchoring; Named "Best of Best" Sportscaster by "Tucson Weekly" readers for 3 straight years.
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