DALLAS – After six days of speculation were met with silence from the top members of the Lakers organization, executives finally rallied around coach Luke Walton on Saturday.
It started when Lakers owner Jeanie Buss tweeted during the first quarter of the Lakers 107-101 win over Dallas that she en route to Memphis for the Lakers game on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and included the hashtag “#InLukeWeTrust.”
Shortly after the game, Magic Johnson tweeted: “Coach Luke Walton has the Lakers playing some of their best basketball of the season.”
The social media posts were the first public displays of support since LaVar Ball told ESPN last weekend that Walton had lost control of the locker room. Those missives, paired with the Lakers silence, fueled speculation that the organization was divided on Walton’s future and even that they might look to hire former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale as a replacement.
Walton has maintained throughout the curious ordeal that he had received private assurances from the Lakers that his job was safe.
“Jeanie’s always been great,” he said Saturday. “So there’s no doubt that they support me. I haven’t seen the tweet but, again, I don’t have Twitter. So, if you want to send it to me later I’ll take a look, but I know they support me.”
The Lakers won their fourth straight game against the Mavericks. Forward Brandon Ingram, who suffered a sprained ankle in the loss, said the external chatter did not infiltrate the locker room, but when asked about Walton, said, “Whatever he’s doing right now is working.”
Buss had used the same hashtag, #InLukeWeTrust, on New Year’s Eve. But the Lakers lost their first game of the new year by 37 points, and their losing streak eventually reached nine games, sparking Ball’s criticisms.
It was fitting that the Lakers were in Dallas on the day of Buss’s tweet. While it took the Lakers nearly a week to find their voice, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle led a chorus of head…