LaVar Ball says Lakers asked him to tone down criticism of coach Walton
LaVar Ball, the plain-spoken father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, has certainly not been shy in speaking his mind about the team’s head coach Luke Walton.
After publicly calling out the player-turned-coach multiple times for his supposed mismanagement of the youngster’s minutes, the Los Angeles brass has reportedly requested the loud-mouthed patriarch to tone down on his criticism.
In an interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the elder Ball confirmed that a closed-door meeting was held between him and Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka to resolve the issue.
“Everybody’s going to try to make it an ego thing, like I’m trying to tell them what to do, or they’re trying to tell me to tone it down. It’s not about that. It’s about coming together and to get a solution to this problem,” he said.
“It may sound crazy to other people, but I really just want the best for Lonzo, and the best for Lonzo is going to be what’s best for the organization. Because if everybody winning, we good.”
The Laker executives also reportedly had no qualms about Ball speaking his mind, but wants the polarizing father to remain positive when discussing the team to the media.
But in true LaVar fashion, the brash parent had this to say: “I’m going to say whatever I want to say, however I want to say it. And they said, ‘LaVar, come and talk to us first.’ So that’s fine too.”
Prior to the team’s request, LaVar lambasted Walton for supposedly not knowing how to coach his son, citing such “flaws” as benching him in late-game situations and calling “unnecessary” timeouts. Khristian Ibarrola /ra