LaVar Ball has already let it be known that he doesn’t like the way Luke Walton and the Lakers are coaching his son Lonzo. Now, he’s doubling down on his comments (er, or is it tripling down?!) and suggesting the Lakers are losing so often this season because Lonzo isn’t getting enough playing time, especially at the end of games.
Just hours after appearing on the Today show and CNN on Tuesday, where the Ball family patriarch talked extensively about his middle son LiAngelo and his decision to pull him out of UCLA this week, LaVar appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio and was asked about the Lakers’ recent struggles. They have lost five games in a row and are 8-15, which suggests the team won’t make the playoffs this season as LaVar suggested earlier this year. LaVar responded by saying there’s a simple reason for the team’s lack of success: Lonzo’s lack of PT.
"The Lakers should build around Lonzo," LaVar said. "Why are they sitting him down and not starting him in the fourth quarter? This is why the record is raggedy."
Walton has gotten into the habit of sitting Lonzo in the fourth quarter during games this season. Most recently, he did it on Sunday night during the Lakers’ loss to the Rockets. As a result, Lonzo finished the game with just 2 points on 0-for-4 shooting in 22 minutes of action, and LaVar is ticked off about it.
LaVar said Lonzo is also ticked off with the way his team is playing. He didn’t lose many games in high school or at UCLA last season, so he’s not used to be on the losing sides of so many contests. LaVar said Lonzo is "disgusted" by it and doesn’t like the way the first quarter of his NBA career has gone.
It’s not surprising to hear LaVar make these comments. Of course he wants his son to play more and of course he thinks the Lakers would be better off with him in the lineup in the fourth quarter. But as usual, it doesn’t seem like he’s doing Lonzo any favors by airing out his grievances so publicly like this, and this feels like it’s only going to make matters worse for Lonzo and the Lakers moving forward.