League sources told ESPN that Johnson “admonished” Walton for the team’s slow start to the season when they met on Tuesday. Sources told the Los Angeles Times that Johnson was “angry” at the meeting but Walton’s job is not in danger.
Johnson shouted and cursed at Walton during the meeting.
The Lakers are 3-5 entering the weekend. They face the 6-2 Trail Blazers on Saturday in Portland before hosting the 7-1 Toronto Raptors on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Walton, 38, owns a 64-108 record as an NBA head coach since being hired by the Lakers in 2016. He previously served as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers are averaging the third-most points per game in the NBA, but rank No. 23 in defensive rating.
Walton met with reporters on Friday and was asked about the tense meeting.
“Magic, myself, [general manager] Rob [Pelinka] and [president] Jeanie [Buss] are in constant communication,” Walton said. “So this is no ‘all of a sudden there’s an emergency’ meeting. This is something that we do all the time. What we discuss in our meetings is between us. I’ve been saying [and] we’ve been saying since the beginning: We’re going to be patient. We know where we’re going, we know how to get there.”
The Lakers haven’t posted a winning record since the 2012-2013 season.