NBA News Roundup, Wednesday, April 24th: Russell Westbrook's leadership criticized, Luke Walton wasn't fired by Lakers, and more
Much of the basketball world is currently focusing on the 2019 playoffs, but the post-season is not the only story emerging from the NBA.
Teams are also gearing up for the upcoming draft and potentially pivotal off-seasons. On that note, we take a look at all the latest NBA news you need to know for April 24th.
Luke Walton had the option to remain as head coach of the Lakers
After months of intense speculation, Luke Walton departed as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers last week. Walton's exit came just days after Magic Johnson quit the team -- and it was widely reported that Walton had been fired.
However, Sam Amick of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers offered Walton the chance to remain in his role as head coach:
After former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson stepped down in such stunning fashion on April 9, sources say Walton was given the chance to stay on as head coach in a subsequent meeting that included owner Jeanie Buss. But Walton, who was already aware that Buss had given Johnson the full authority to fire him and who had long harbored concerns about general manager Rob Pelinka’s style, was ready to head for the exits himself.
Despite the addition of LeBron James, Walton was unable to guide the Lakers to a first playoff appearance since 2013. During his three seasons as head coach, Walton posted a losing record of 98-148, although he was praised for his work developing the Lakers' much talked about young core.
Since leaving the Lakers, Walton has been hired as coach of the Sacramento Kings -- although he has this week been hit with sexual assault allegations.