Don't expect Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton to be the scapegoat if the team gets off to a slow start this season.
Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson doesn't expect the club - full of new skill sets and personalities - to gel immediately, and he wanted to let the third-year bench boss know that.
"As I was talking to Luke (with general manager Rob Pelinka), we said don't worry about if we get out to a bad start," Johnson said Thursday, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "We have seen that with LeBron (James) going to Miami, and we have seen that when he came back to Cleveland. He is going to struggle because there are so many new moving parts. But eventually we are going to get it, and we are going to be really a good team."
When James joined the Miami Heat in 2010, the team started 9-8 before winning 12 straight and eventually finishing the season 58-24. The Cavaliers started 19-20 after James went back to Cleveland in 2014 before closing out the year with a 53-29 record. Both teams made the NBA Finals.
"We're excited for Luke and his coaching staff," Johnson said. "I think that Luke has been working very hard to figure out how to utilize all the pieces. Luke's a winner. He's been a winner as a player, he's a winner up at Golden State. He'll be a winner here too. People think it's a problem when you have a lot of talent. No, we want a lot of talent. I think a coach wants a lot of talent. He'll know how to put them in a winning position."