LaVar Ball has taken his “overbearing sports dad” shtick to another level.
The father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball currently is in Lithuania with his two other sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, as they prepare for their debuts with club team Prienu Vytautas. But LaVar had the Lakers — more specifically, head coach Luke Walton — on his mind Saturday in an interview with ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
“You can see they’re not playing for Luke no more,” Ball told Goodman at a spa resort in Birstonas, Lithuania. “Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him.”
The Lakers have lost nine in a row to fall to last in the NBA’s Western Conference at 11-27. But that’s still a pretty bold call-out of an NBA coach by the father of one of his players. LaVar wasn’t done with Walton, though.
“Nobody wants to play for him,” Ball added. “I can see it. No high-fives when they come out of the game. People don’t know why they’re in the game. He’s too young. He’s too young.
“… He ain’t connecting with them anymore. You can look at every player, he’s not connecting with not one player.”
Ball beefing with his sons’ coaches isn’t new, as he essentially got LaMelo’s high school coach at Chino Hills fired after publicly feuding with him. The NBA, of course, is a different animal, and Ball’s antics weren’t expected to be tolerated when Lonzo arrived in L.A.
It appears nothing can stop Ball from running his mouth, though — especially when it comes to his eldest son, whom he believes Walton is mishandling.
“Lonzo looked good, but he also looked disgusted,” Ball said. “He was ready to play. Four minutes left in the first quarter (Friday against the Charlotte Hornets), he dunked it, getting in a flow and Coach (Walton) sits him down. Sat him down. Now game goes from four points to 10 to 15 to 20. I don’t know what they’re doing. If he’s ready to play, let him play. Don’t try and monitor no minutes, put on restrictions.”
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images