San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was in top form while speaking with media prior to Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. When asked for his opinion on rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, Popovich said he has enough responsibilities with the Spurs than to be concerned with an opponent’s player.
“And if I have to watch film, that’s what assistant coaches are for,” he quipped. “Jerry Sloan taught me that. I didn’t make that up on my own.” But Poppovich, whose been outspoken on political matters, was more than willing to share his opinion on LaVar Ball and criticism directed at Lakers head coach Luke Walton.
“Whenever anyone says anything about another individual, about the quality of another individual or what they’re doing, the first thing to look at is the substance and gravitas of the source that speaks,” Poppovich began.
“Just stopping at that point would tell you that you don’t need to listen or go any further. It’s just another fan in the peanut gallery with an opinion, which is meaningless.”
LaVar on multiple occasions has called into question Walton’s coaching acumen and ability to draw the best out of the franchise’s point guard. In addition, his latest assertion was Walton had lost the locker room.
Although Walton is only into his second season as a head coach, Popovich believes his education began well before that. “Luke has been schooled in this game from the time he was a little kid. He doesn’t even know what he knows, probably. Just by osmosis, whether it was living at home or in school as a player, he’s had tremendous experience,” Popovich said.
“As a player he wasn’t the best athlete in the world, but those are the guys that sometimes understands the game better. He inherently understands the game, and not everybody does. And then the icing on the cake, he gets to spend a few years up with Steve at Golden State, with a great organization, a great group.
“He’s way more than ready to handle this situation. But it’s a situation that’s going to take time. It’s a process and it certainly doesn’t need any outside chatter from people who don’t have a clue and haven’t gotten over themselves.”
Since LaVar’s latest criticism, Walton has received support from coaches throughout the league, both publicly and privately. “Why wouldn’t we is the question,” Popovich said of the backing. “It’s totally logical.”