Lonzo Ball is inevitably going to be a Laker, but we’ll all find a million different ways to drag out this storyline in the next month leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft. That’s mainly because of Lonzo’s loudmouth dad, LaVar Ball.
LaVar’s antics have rubbed people all across the sports the wrong way. Journalist Lindsay Applebaum, who was recently laid off from Sports Illustrated, even said the silver lining is she doesn’t have to care about Lonzo’s dad anymore. With someone as polarizing and, frankly, annoying as LaVar Ball, you can understand why some teams may question drafting Lonzo despite his obvious talent, even though passing on a 6’6″ point guard with exceptional offensive skills seems like a gigantic mistake.
Lakers coach Luke Walton already said on The Dan Patrick Show that somebody in the Los Angeles organization will reach out to UCLA coach Steve Alford to discuss handling LaVar. Then on Monday, Walton told TMZ Sports said he thinks his family experience makes the whole LaVar situation a nonissue. As the son of basketball legend Bill Walton, Luke has his own experience handling a dad’s big personality.
“My dad’s got a big personality, too. So I’m used to that type of stuff. To me, I’m a fan of his [Lonzo’s] game and the way that he plays. … [LaVar Ball and Bill Walton] are both big personalities, they’re both outspoken. But I wouldn’t — that’s where I’d say the comparison goes.
Walton was deflecting the question as much as (if not more than) he was answering it, but there’s definitely some sincerity there. As he points out, the two fathers are very different people, but there are some broad similarities.
The TMZ Sports reporter also asked Walton if he’d let LaVar sit in on practices if the Lakers do indeed draft Lonzo, and Walton said he hasn’t even thought about a scenario like that yet.