Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball has a lot on his plate. From the moment he was drafted he was called the new ‘face of the franchise’ along with the responsibilities that come with being the starting point guard on a young team.
The last thing he needs is controversy between his father, LaVar Ball, and head coach Luke Walton. Despite being asked by the organization to stop criticizing Walton, LaVar once again spoke ill of the Lakers head coach, saying he had lost control of the team.
Naturally, Lonzo was asked about it and while he didn’t agree with what his father said, he didn’t necessarily give a ringing endorsement of Walton, either.
Although it wasn’t the best look for Lonzo it apparently has more to do with his desire to stay out of any issues. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Lonzo is more concerned with establishing himself but the Lakers are concerned about the toll this is taking on him:
A source close to the player said he’s more concerned with establishing himself in the league and helping the team get out of its recent funk than wading into a controversy between his dad and the coach. Privately, there are those in the Lakers organization who have begun to worry about the toll that this tightrope act will take on the 20-year-old point guard if it continues.
It is a difficult situation for Lonzo to be in. He is literally stuck between his father and his head coach and is trying to appease both of them.
Whether or not that is sustainable remains to be seen and that is what concerns the Lakers. All of the off-the-court stuff is bound to take a mental toll on anyone, let along a 20-year-old rookie playing for one of the biggest franchises in all of sports.
In fairness, Lonzo has shown no signs of any of these things wearing on him in any way and his play has improved as the season has gone on. He has shown great mental fortitude to be able to block out all of the noise so far, but it seems as if that noise will never end.
WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERSNATION FORUM CLUB