Source: Lakers ‘frustrated’ that Lonzo Ball won’t stand up to his father
LaVar Ball has played a starring role in turning son Lonzo’s rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers into a soap opera. And it appears some members of the organization are “frustrated” over the rookie point guard’s inability or reluctance to stand up to his father and say enough is enough, according to what one league source recently told Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher.
Much of the drama surrounding the Lakers stems in large part of the elder Ball’s criticism of the organization, specifically head coach Luke Walton, whom Ball suggested a few weeks ago has lost the team.
And that has left the Lakers organization that has declined to publicly engage in chatter about the elder Ball to stew behind the scenes over his perceived negative influence upon his son.
“They are frustrated that he can’t stand up to his dad, but they really like him,” the league source told Bucher.
An anonymous Eastern Conference executive believes the onus is on the rookie point guard to take control of his career.
“The kid could stop all of it,” the VP said. “All he has to say to the media is, ‘He doesn’t speak for me. If you want to talk about the Lakers, speak to me, don’t speak to my dad.'”
One of the knocks on Lonzo Ball early on in his NBA career is his passivity on the floor. One Eastern Conference general manager attributes that to the control LaVar Ball has over his son.
“The dad has verbally fought all his fights for him,” he said. “The kid is in the habit of retreating and saying, ‘OK, I guess he’s got this.’ The parent is trying to out-do the kid. You could argue that LaVar is a bigger name than Lonzo. There’s a tragedy in that, and we’re watching it unfold.”
Ball of course has mastered the art of publicity and self-promotion. He also appears to adhere to the philosophy that there’s no such thing as publicity. Expect Ball to continue, right or wrong, to receive over-saturated media coverage … until his son puts an end to it, apparently.