Lonzo Ball is undoubtedly one of the most important young players on the Los Angeles Lakers moving forward. The team is literally winless (0-7) without Ball in the lineup, and it’s obvious to anyone with a working set of eyes how integral the rookie guard already is to the team’s pace of play and defense.
But while criticism of Ball on the floor might be overdone at some points, fear of the way his father might affect him and/or the Lakers is already in full swing. LaVar Ball’s criticism of the team and head coach Luke Walton is already reportedly painting a negative picture of the team to some other NBA players, and they might not be the only ones.
According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, Lonzo’s teammates and the Lakers organization as a whole don’t exactly love the way he’s avoided contradicting his father’s critiques, even if they aren’t holding it against him yet:
While the Lakers front office, coaching staff and players have not turned on their rookie teammate for his father’s indiscretions, a league source said, they are not happy about them.
“They are frustrated that he can’t stand up to his dad, but they really like him,” the source said.
However, Bucher also added that some around the league are predicting the Lakers’ patience with Ball’s passiveness won’t last forever.
And while no one with the Lakers is blaming Lonzo for his father’s impetuousness yet, the same GM predicted they will at some point.
“Whatever Lonzo’s ceiling is as a player, he’s going to have to divorce himself from his father if he’s going to reach it,” he said. “That act is going to wear out. His teammates are going to get tired of it. This isn’t AAU basketball. Lonzo is going to have to cut him loose.”
It’s important to note that if Lonzo’s teammates are going to tire of LaVar, they haven’t yet, or at least not publicly. Now, frustrations with a teammate’s parent might not ever be the type of thing to come out on the record to the media, but until they do, it has to be noted they haven’t.
Still, the fact that players and the organization might be getting sick of LaVar only halfway into Lonzo’s rookie season can’t be dismissed, either. While they might be able to separate the two parties for now, it wouldn’t be shocking if they couldn’t forever.
It’s not an ideal position for Lonzo to be in, but unless he becomes as good as LaVar thinks he will and is talented enough to justify the headache, at some point he may have to actually make an effort to publicly or privately quiet his father.
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