Most of the statements are directed to his sons’ coaches, with Luke Walton bearing most of the brunt. Even though Walton is no longer Lonzo’s coach, this hasn’t stopped LaVar from continuing to bad-mouth Walton.
LaVar Ball always defends his sons
LaVar Ball’s comments might be laughable at times. But, not all of them are baseless. He has trained his three sons all their lives, and no one knows them or their games better than him.
After dropping a triple-double on the Denver Nuggets in 2017, Lonzo Ball credited the Lakers’ coaching staff and his father for his success.
But, LaVar was quick to label the Lakers’ coaching staff as ‘soft,’ noting, “They don’t know how to coach my son. I know how to coach my son.” Hew ent on to say they turned him into a loser.
When asked if he had a problem with the Lakers’ then head coach Luke Walton, LaVar said, “No, I have a problem with losing.”
LaVar Ball always thinks he knows what’s best for the team
The Lakers’ had a rough 2018-2019 season, and LaVar’s comments didn’t make it any easier. At least not for the head coach.
At first, LaVar stated he didn’t have a problem with the head coach, but the shots that followed were clear as day. After a win over the Brooklyn Nets, LaVar had some advice for Walton, “Let him play the whole fourth quarter and bet you’ll always win.”
Given that Lonzo was averaging 8.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.9 assists on 29.9% from the field and just 23.4% from the three-point line, it’s clear why the head coach would have him on the bench in the fourth quarter.
But LaVar also had a solution to Lonzo’s shooting woes, which was, “Keeping getting shots up,” which probably didn’t sit well with Walton.
Sometimes his quotes went too far
Being called out for the ‘poor fourth-quarter rotations’ wasn’t LaVar Ball’s worst jab toward Walton. He always seems to take it up a notch every time he gets the platform.
While in Birstonas, Lithuania waiting for his sons LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball to make their professional debut, LaVar commented on the recent woes of the Lakers saying, “He doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him.”
He also went ahead to say, “He ain’t connecting with them anymore. You can look at every player, he’s not connecting with not one player.” These comments were directed toward Walton, whose Lakers team at the time sat rock bottom in the western conference standings.
Lonzo Ball leaving the Lakers couldn’t stop LaVar Ball from taking jabs
At the end of the season, the Lakers were putting together a package that would help them trade for Pelicans’ star Anthony David. As usual, LaVar had other plans and some subtle jabs for Walton as well.
He preferred Lonzo ship out to the Phoenix Suns, where he could pair up with LiAngelo and LaMelo. He believed that Lonzo could prosper there and had comments about the coaching situation Lonzo would expect at the Suns, “If a coach gets behind Lonzo and has confidence in him, I’m cool. ‘Cause that’s when he’s very successful.”
What does Coach Walton have to say about all the hits below the belt?
All along, the Lakers organization and Walton have had a simple but effective approach to managing LaVar and his abrasive comments, which is remaining silent.
When directly asked about LaVar, Walton has had some calculated and laid-back responses when asked about LaVar’s comments. In one instance, he said,
“My only concern with any of it is for Zo. As long as Zo’s fine with it and Zo can come out and play, and it doesn’t affect mine and his relationship, then it doesn’t bother me at all.”
In another instance, Walton joked about benching Lonzo in the fourth quarter because of his father’s comments. Walton’s light-hearted responses appear to be the perfect way not let LaVar get under your skin. Although, Walton must be pleased to not have to deal with him in Sacramento.