Spoelstra has routinely apologized publicly when players fall victim to the numbers game. Earlier this month, he said he was “sick to his stomach” when he was unable to find minutes for Ellington. He also was disappointed recently after cutting Kelly Olynyk’s playing time last week against the Boston Celtics. “I talk to the guys (after),” Spoelstra said. “I have great empathy for the guys who are not playing the minutes that they would like or deserve in many cases. I have great empathy for Wayne. I don’t have a great answer for it, other than we’ve found some things that have been good. It’s not an indictment on anybody. I can’t play everybody.”
But Walton’s seat seems as hot as any around the league these days. And he’s …. absolutely fine with it? “It’s the best job in the world and I love the challenge that we have,” Walton told ESPN in a recent interview. “It’s challenging, it’s hard, it’s sleepless nights. But it’s also awesome.”
As one Lakers insider put it, the Lakers hired Walton because they believed in his potential in the same way they believed in their lottery picks. While it was a different regime that hired him, the belief in his potential remains strong.
“He’s competitive as hell, but I think the way he’s handling this year, I don’t know if I could do a better job,” Rondo told ESPN. “It’s tough: He’s having to teach at the same time as he’s trying to get wins, managing egos and dealing with vets and leadership.
Tania Ganguli: This is not the first time Kyle Kuzma has provided a message of support for Luke Walton in the face of questions about his job security. Here’s what he said tonight.