Lakers enforcing existing media policy now dubbed the ‘LaVar Ball Rule’
Some Staples Center employees have taken to referring to “an existing policy” regarding media access as the “LaVar Ball Rule,” in reference to the outspoken and often controversial father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball.
The policy, which prohibits the media from interviewing family, friends and agents near the visiting team’s locker room at the conclusion of games, is now strictly forbidden.
ESPN reports media was previously allowed to interview individuals at their leisure in an area near the tunnel leading to Staples Center corridors without incident. Now, the report indicates if a media member is seen congregating in that area, they will informed by team staffers or arena security to leave the area.
Family, friends and agents wait for players in the seats behind the basket closest to the visiting team’s locker room at the conclusion of games. Interviews conducted in that designated area and near the tunnel leading to the arena corridors are now forbidden.
In prior years, media socialized and, at times, interviewed individuals in that sector without interference. If a media member is recognized in that area now, arena security or Laker staffers direct that he or she leave the area.
The Lakers, however, insist the rule is longstanding policy, not predicated on giving Ball — who has criticized the Lakers over the handling of his son — unfettered access to the media and a platform to espouse his views, favorable or otherwise.
“It’s not a new policy; it’s an existing policy,” a team spokesperson told ESPN. “There has been more media presence in that area than before. That section is strictly for family and guests of players. It’s a privacy concern.”