With all of the digital and physical ink that has been spilled by the click-eager media over various comments or controversies involving LaVar Ball, it would be easy to assume that Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka aren’t fans of Lonzo Ball’s father.
During their exit interview as a tandem, however, Johnson disputed that notion. “Rob and I have a good relationship with LaVar,” he said. “He wanted to have updates on his son, we wanted to tell him how we felt Lonzo was performing. We were able to really have positive communication between the three of us.”
Pelinka added to that, outlining that the Lakers’ goal is to treat the family members of all 17 of their players “same dignity and respect” they show to any other players’ family members, no matter their status on the team or how many times they’ve publicly said Luke Walton has lost the locker room.
“We’ve had meetings and talks with Brandon Ingram’s dad, Donald, who is a fantastic individual. With Kyle’s mom and brother,” Pelinka said.
“We want to be an open-armed organization that treats players and their families with dignity. And so that level of treatment is going to be uniform and the same for any of those 15 Lakers players or two-way players. … Whether it’s LaVar or anyone.”
And despite any headlines or melodrama LaVar’s comments have created this season, Johnson made it sound like it’s easy to find common ground with the Ball family patriarch.
“You have to understand that our main concern is Lonzo. That’s who we’re going to spend the most time talking to, but we only had two conversations with LaVar. They were both good and we moved on,” Johnson said.
“He loves his son, cares about his son and he wants him to be better, and that’s what we want. We want him to be better. I’m not going to monitor him.”