As if the week of the NBA Trade Deadline hasn’t been hectic enough for the Los Angeles Lakers, LaVar Ball added a whole new layer amid reports the team shopped Lonzo Ball in Anthony Davis talks with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Everyone knew what kind of boisterous presence LaVar was when his son was first drafted by the Lakers, but ever since the signing of LeBron James, he had been rather quiet. To be fair, Ball was spending time between Lithuania and Ohio’s Spire Institute with his other sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, but he had largely went away from his attention-grabbing quotes.
Well, that has since changed. Previous reports suggested Ball’s camp were more keen to the point guard being sent to the Chicago Bulls or Phoenix Suns than the Pelicans in a potential Davis trade.
Ball then went on the record to identify the Suns as the preferred landing spot. Phoenix reportedly reached out to the Lakers and Pelicans to express interest in being added as a third to a trade.
LaVar reiterated his stance on the Suns during an interview on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports’ “Doug and Wolf”, while also criticizing the Lakers:
“He’s a better fit in Phoenix because they’ve got some young athletes. They’ve been losing and need a winning attitude. The Lakers gave my boy that losing attitude. If you look at my boys, one thing they do do is win. … When he got to the Lakers, Luke Walton was the worst coach ever for Lonzo because he had a losing mentality. He’s been losing for three years.”
Ball went on to criticize Lakers head coach Luke Walton’s rotations, arguing his son needs to play significantly more minutes:
“Why is it not working in L.A.? Because, Lonzo, he makes everybody better. How can you make somebody better if you got four people dribbling the ball up the court? You put him in a corner, you try to make him a 3-and-D guy. He’s never been a guy who just shoots threes and helps play defense. He’s been a guy who controls the game. You can’t control the game if you’re sitting on the bench and you’re taking him in and out of the game.”
In addition to denouncing the play of the young Lakers when Lonzo is not on the court, LaVar shared his belief that the Lakers trading his son would be a critical mistake:
“Do what you want to do. Like I told them before, ‘If you trade my son it will be the worst thing you ever did for your franchise.’ I guarantee it.”
Ball has always been known to speak his mind, but this interview was arguably the most critical he’s been. Lonzo is rumored to be the player the Pelicans want most in a trade with the Lakers.
Though, L.A. reportedly walked away from talks on Tuesday due to sensing New Orleans’ demands were too much to meet.
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