The Los Angeles Lakers knew that when they drafted Lonzo Ball last summer they would have to handle his outspoken father as well. LaVar Ball is known for his over-the-top comments that range from his claims he can beat Michael Jordan one-on-one to Lonzo being better than Stephen Curry.
However, LaVar has recently put Lakers head coach Luke Walton in his crosshairs, criticizing him for the way he has been using his son. Among other remarks, LaVar opined he could coach the team to a better record than Walton has.
That prompted Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka to call for a meeting with the boisterous personality.
While the purpose was to get LaVar to curtail some of his criticism, he came away from the meeting encouraged and with a positive perception of the franchise via, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
“It was the best thing, man. Everybody’s going to try to make it an ego thing, like I’m trying to tell them what to do, or they’re trying to tell me to tone it down. It’s not about that. It’s about coming together and to get a solution to this problem. It may sound crazy to other people, but I really just want the best for Lonzo, and the best for Lonzo is going to be what’s best for the organization. Because if everybody winning, we good.”
For Lakers fans, LaVar’s explanation is a positive one. Ultimately, if he and the team are on the same page, then it will prevent him from becoming a distraction for all parties. However, LaVar did assert that he doesn’t intend to remain silent:
“I’m going to say whatever I want to say, however I want to say it,” Ball said. “And they said, ‘LaVar, come and talk to us first.’ So that’s fine too. But I am going to say, to plant a seed, ‘Let’s look for this now.’ They may not want to hear that, but it’s going to be successful if you listen to what I’m saying on that fact that I know what it takes for my son to run like this.”
From LaVar’s perspective, he really can’t tone down his comments too much. After all, his personality, while certainly polarizing, has proven to be critical for the promotion of the family’s Big Baller Brand.
That said, it doesn’t appear as though Ball feels like this is turning into an adversarial relationship with the Lakers.
He acknowledges that both he and the team want the same thing, and he is going to express his opinions about how to get there. Whether or not the Lakers take his advice is another story, but at least, for now, the lines of communication are open.
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