Nothing has been simple in this joke of a Los Angeles Lakers season, not simple to describe or simple to execute.
So it is with the curious case of head coach Luke Walton, whose level of blame must be assessed through the reality that while he has done a poor job, it was an impossible one from the start.
There are contradictions everywhere. Walton has presided over one of the most deflating seasons in franchise history, more dismal than the 17-65 farce of 2015-16. Yet in one sense he also has presided over absolutely nothing, for can there be another coach anywhere in professional sports more permanently undermined?
The combination of a high-profile team president and a high-profile superstar lit the fuse on Walton’s tenure, which, somehow, was still going as of Wednesday. Don’t expect that to continue much longer.
The ruling hand of Magic Johnson in the front office casts a long shadow over the Lakers, and whatever breathing room remains was swallowed up in the vacuum that surrounds LeBron James. There is precisely zero chance Walton could have emerged with any credit — that much was written before the first game.
Had the Lakers surpassed expectations by going on a run, getting into the playoffs and perhaps winning a series once there, it would not have been Walton receiving the glowing reviews. It would have been James, his name cast as the difference-maker and his leadership skills lauded.