Luke Walton wouldn't mind a little 'Showtime' in his Lakers

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- With Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson now back in the fold as an adviser to co-owner and president Jeanie Buss, it's natural to wonder if and how he might try to incorporate his "Showtime" sensibilities into the franchise.The...

Luke Walton wouldn't mind a little 'Showtime' in his Lakers

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- With Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson now back in the fold as an adviser to co-owner and president Jeanie Buss, it's natural to wonder if and how he might try to incorporate his "Showtime" sensibilities into the franchise.

The Lakers' forays into their past haven't been successful lately, but if the team can absorb some of the pass-happy, up-tempo style of their 1980s predecessors, head coach Luke Walton will be thrilled.

"You know, there's similarities," Walton said at practice on Monday. "Obviously, the way the Showtime Lakers played and the up-and-down tempo, that's how we want to play. We want to get out. We have versatile forwards that can handle the ball. We have multiple wings that can bring it up.

"There's a similarity to the way that we want to play with them. Obviously, the game has changed as far as the technical standpoint, and the rules have changed. So there are things that are a lot different now too. But it would be a nice blend to get some of that style in the way we play."

Because of the Lakers' recent five-game road trip, Walton and Johnson have yet to sit down and discuss strategy. There is no timetable for their eventual meeting.

"I have plans to coach games tomorrow and Wednesday," Walton said. "And then when I get some free time, I would love and am looking forward to sitting down with Magic. It's going to happen. There's just no time right now."

Johnson and second-year point guard D'Angelo Russell found time to speak after Johnson's hiring on Feb. 3, with Johnson offering Russell the opportunity to pick his brain whenever he would like.

"We talked on the phone," Russell said. "It wasn't any, like, knowledgeable conversation; it was just more of he's ready to work with me every opportunity he gets. Stuff like that."

Russell, who was born in 1996, during Johnson's final season with the Lakers, obviously never saw Johnson play live, but he said he continuously heard about Johnson's legacy throughout his formative years.

"He was way before my time, but you hear about him a lot as far as some of the top point guards to ever play this game," Russell said.

Given Johnson's immense success and opinionated nature, Walton was asked if he was concerned Johnson will try to impose his will on how the team is coached. Walton quickly shot down that notion, though.

"When the time is there, we'll sit down," Walton said. "We're going to obviously coach this team the way that we think is best for our guys to win and gives us the best chance of growing in a certain direction for the future. But obviously, we would love to have Magic's input on those type of things."

Earlier in the day, Johnson told CBS in an interview that it would likely take the Lakers three to five years to rebuild. Upon being relayed those comments, Walton said his focus was on Tuesday's game against the Sacramento Kings, but he admitted the timetable seemed standard.

"I'm not really -- I'm more concerned with our game tomorrow," Walton said. "Three to five years? Yeah, I mean, that sounds normal for our rebuild."

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