LaVar Ball makes his strongest attack yet against his son's coach
In October, Mitch Lawrence of The Sporting News asked an anonymous former NBA head coach how the Lakers front office should prepare for potential distractions caused by LaVar Ball, father of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.
“If the GM doesn’t get between your coach and LaVar, let me tell you, that coach is in a bad place,” the former coach said. “Because there’s only going to be trouble if this goes back and forth. Nobody wins in that case.”
As the NBA season approaches its midway point, that quote has proven prophetic.
Lonzo Ball and the Lakers sit with the second-worst record in the league, and LaVar Ball’s preseason guarantee that his son would lead the Lakers to the playoffs is now officially laughable.
With the losses piling up, the eldest Ball has dropped another bomb — that coach Luke Walton has lost the team.
Chiming in from Lithuania, where he’s watching his other two sons launch their professional careers, Ball caught Lonzo Ball’s return to action from a shoulder injury. He wasn’t impressed.
“You can see they’re not playing for Luke no more,” LaVar Ball told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. “Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him.”
The Lakers have lost nine straight games, and Ball says he’s figured out the problem.
“That’s a good team. Nobody wants to play for him,” Ball said of the second-year Lakers coach. “I can see it. No high-fives when they come out of the game. People don’t know why they’re in the game. He’s too young. He’s too young. … He ain’t connecting with them anymore. You can look at every player, he’s not connecting with not one player.”
Of course, Ball all but absolves his son Lonzo of any blame.
“Lonzo looked good, but he also looked disgusted,” he said. “He was ready to play. Four minutes left in the first quarter, he dunked it, getting in a flow and coach sits him down. Sat him down. Now game goes from four points to 10 to 15 to 20. I don’t know what they’re doing. If he’s ready to play, let him play. Don’t try and monitor no minutes, put on restrictions.”
The good news, for Lakers fans, is that LaVar Ball believes help is on the way.
“LeBron’s coming to L.A. I know he’s coming to L.A.,” Ball said. “LeBron is not a fool. What’s the only way he can beat Jordan? You can’t get more championships. Only one way, to say every team I’ve gone to I’ve won a championship. Go to Lakers and win a championship, then you’re better than Jordan.”
In addition to his LeBron James guarantee, Ball laid out an entire game plan.
“You can’t give my son the best player in the league, and don’t expect them not to win. Get rid of everybody. Give him LeBron and Gelo [LiAngelo Ball]. You got a 2 and a 3. And it’s a win. It’s a wrap. Then all you need are two rebounders — [Julius] Randle and [Larry] Nance Jr.”
Lakers general manager Magic Johnson has always been known for, well, magic.
He’ll need some of that to make this whole situation disappear.
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