LaVar Ball has managed to avoid headlines for a while, but based on past events, it would seem to be only a matter of time before he shows up in the media once again with something to say about his son, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, or his teammates or coaches.
But while the elder Ball’s antics garner endless amounts of media attention, they haven’t seemed to affect the Lakers very much. The team has exceeded expectations to go 25-34 after only managing 26 wins all of last season, and they have also jumped from the NBA’s worst defensive rating to its 14th-best at present time.
According to Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, that lack of a negative LaVar effect shouldn’t be a surprise. In fact, the sophomore forward told Reid Forgrave of CBS Sports that LaVar hasn’t impacted the Lakers’ dynamic whatsoever:
“I don’t think he affects it at all. He’s in Lithuania with his other two boys. I don’t really pay any mind to it. The guys laugh and joke about it sometimes. But it doesn’t affect my spot on the team. And it doesn’t affect this team. It’s cool.”
The noise about LaVar’s various comments this season has at times been deafening in the media, but it’s also probably not a surprise that Ingram doesn’t feel as though that noise has actually affected the Lakers, because how would it?
The team seems to genuinely love and appreciate Lonzo for both his presence and the type of player he is. And so of course his father’s — at times ridiculous — comments in the media haven’t affected the way the actual team functions.
Whether or not they’ve impacted the way the team is perceived outside of the organization by both players and fans is a different question, and probably can’t be answered for several years. Still, Ingram is probably right that in the short-term, all the noise is just that.
It should also be noted that Lakers head coach Luke Walton deserves some credit for getting his young team to buy into the mantra and mindset of nothing outside of the locker room mattering.
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