L.A. Lakers coach Luke Walton is dismissing LaVar Ball’s critique of his coaching style, including Ball’s insistence that rookie son Lonzo be on the court more for crunch-time action.
LaVar Ball recently made the media rounds, including appearing on one local radio show, where he blasted Walton over the way he’s made use of his son.
CBS Sports reports that Walton hasn’t minced words in his retort.
“We don’t take parents’ opinions into our coaching decisions,” he said.
While stressing that he and his coaches are trying to grow their young team as a group, Walton added that “the relationship with Lonzo means a lot to me, so I stay in constant contact with him and how he’s doing. But as far as other people’s thoughts on what we should do, I don’t concern myself with those.”
Walton went on to allow that as rookie point guards go, Ball has been fine, not to mention he has shown a willingness to do everything coaches have asked of him.
“They have their own relationship,” he said of father and son. “I don’t know what they talk about in private, but Lonzo’s an incredible team player. He’s here to make our team better. He’s always been on board with what we try to do.”
ESPN reported that as an organization, the Lakers have appeared to be taking a firmer stance against LaVar of late, recently moving to enforce the “LaVar Ball rule,” prohibiting media from going into the family section of the arena after games and getting quotes.
It’s been a busy last few days for the elder Ball, who also recently revealed that he has helped broker a deal for his other two sons with a pro agent.
According to Ball, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have signed with agent Harrison Gaines, ending all speculation on what campus LiAngelo might land on after bolting from UCLA.
The plan now calls for the Ball brothers to suit up together overseas. Gaines also represents Lonzo Ball.
“I don’t care about the money,” LaVar said. “I want them to go somewhere where they will play them together on the court at the same time. The priority is for the boys to play on the same team.”
ESPN adds that several teams in Europe and Asia have expressed at least initial interest in the Ball brothers.
“I don’t know the deals and who is offering what,” LaVar Ball said. “I’m letting Harrison handle all that, but I know there are a few teams interested. I just need to get them playing again.”