Luke Walton, Lonzo Ball downplay latest LaVar Ball criticism


Less than a month ago, Lakers leadership had met with LaVar Ball and asked him to stop criticizing head coach Luke Walton in the media.

Had the interview ended at that point, Ball's father would have seemed like a disconnected parent.

Walton was asked whether LaVar Ball's comments could possibly influence what management is thinking about its coach and the team's rebuild.

The response was far from a ringing endorsement of Walton and could be perceived to be the opposite. He has coached me his whole life.

When asked about his job security last week, Walton said, "I coach as if it's not" in jeopardy. "Whatever those meetings [with LaVar Ball in the past] are, I'm not concerned with those".

Lonzo Ball said he just focuses on playing basketball and that he has told Walton before that his father's comments don't affect him.

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"I'm fine with it, it doesn't bother me". It's a hard task and if you don't believe it then just as me.

Had he lost the locker room? "But he knows I am ready to play".

"That's a good team", he added of the Lakers, who have lost nine straight games. "My only concern with any of it is for Zo", Walton said, brushing off the comments. "I think the players are playing very hard, we've been through a hard stretch, but they are giving us what they have and we're going to keep working and we'll be fine".

With speculation surrounding the futures of a number of Lakers players, including the likes of Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, questions have been raised over the desire of LA's players to help an organisation that will likely trade them away before they get the chance to taste success. It didn't even take half a season for LaVar, the father of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, to spout off about his son's coach. "You can't give my son the best player in the league, and don't expect them not to win". I don't know what they're doing.

"I feel very secure in my job status right now", he said. "We talk all the time".

Asked if he disagrees with the idea that he's lost the locker room, Walton responded, "I would disagree with that, yes".