Johnson reportedly gave Ball an ultimatum that didn’t work, as the outspoken father of Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball continued to make news by claiming the team didn’t have the back of head coach Luke Walton.
But all has been quiet on the LaVar front for quite some time for the Purple and Gold, and if you ask Los Angeles Times reporter Bill Plaschke, it’s all thanks to the arrival of LeBron James.
When James signed with LA in the offseason, some thought King James was headed for a collision course with LaVar Ball, based on the statements the latter has made about James’ kids. That hasn’t been the case, though, and Plaschke thinks there’s a simple reason: fear.
Plaschke discussed the dynamic Friday on “The Dan Patrick Show.”
“It feels like there was something that was said in the offseason,” Patrick said. “Like Magic said to Lonzo’s dad ‘here’s the deal, let’s just be quiet. For your son’s future, let’s just be quiet.’”
The LA Times reporter doesn’t think that’s the case, though.
“No, I think that happened last year and it didn’t work. I think they even threatened to trade him, I think they threatened to trade the kid if the dad didn’t shut up,” Plaschke said.
“I think what worked was LeBron James. He actually saw a guy who is bigger and more status than (him). He didn’t think Magic Johnson had the current status among the sporting public to stand him down, but LeBron does. And I think LeBron’s presence finally shut up LaVar. And he got scared. He said ‘maybe the Lakers don’t have the guts to trade my son. LeBron’ll sure trade my son, so I better keep my mouth shut.”
Smart move, LaVar.
Lonzo Ball has all the talent in the world, but with James entering the final stage of his career, the 33-year-old undoubtedly would ask Johnson to deal the young point guard if his father started mouthing off and creating distractions.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images