Walton expects to be back on Lakers' bench next season

Colton Jones

With former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue just the latest to be mentioned to take over the job he holds, Luke Walton has made he clear he doesn't expect to be going anywhere.

The Los Angeles Lakers' third-year coach doesn't sound like a man on the hot seat, as has been rumored for months.

“I fully expect to be coaching this team again next year,” Walton told Bill Oram of The Athletic.

Los Angeles (33-42) needs to win three of its final games this season to surpass the 35 victories it amassed last season. Before this season, the Lakers had improved by nine victories in each of Walton's first two seasons at the helm.

“I just view it as outside noise unless someone from within tells me that that happened,” Walton said. “Unless someone from within our group is telling me that, I just view it like all the other things we’ve gone through as a team this year. Those are things that I don’t have the time to worry about. I’ve got more important things to do like getting the team better and doing my job.”