Lonzo Ball isn’t even in the NBA yet and his father’s jig may already be up.
LaVar Ball’s involvement with his three sons’ collegiate and high school basketball careers—and his style of parenting in general—has been questioned a lot over the past few months with rising media attention. But with his eldest, Lonzo, about to join the NBA, he may be forced to take a back seat.
And that all starts with LaVar not being allowed to watch Lonzo practice for the Lakers.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton took to the Jim Rome Show to say although LaVar couldn’t watch practice, he wasn’t barred from all Lakers activities:
“If he wanted to come to the dinner. I think the workout is something that we’ll keep the doors closed on, but the dinner, I think he would definitely make the dinner more entertaining. He’s definitely welcomed to join us for that one.”
Walton, who won two rings with the Lakers, might have a soft spot for LaVar being so opinionated. The coach’s father, NBA great Bill Walton, has a pretty big personality, too. Still, he’s drawing lines in the sand pretty early.
“No, I wouldn’t [be concerned about LaVar’s opinionated nature]. We’re in the NBA, to me, that’s not an issue. Parents are always gonna have their opinions. They’re gonna be outspoken at times. As you know, Jim, I have a very outspoken father myself. It doesn’t bother me. If we were to draft him, we’re gonna coach him. He’s gonna be part of our team. He’s gonna be part of our family. And we’ll go from there. This is the NBA. We’ll keep the team where it needs to be. We’ll not let outside things like that influence us on whether or not we pick the kid,” Walton continued.
Lonzo is a talented player and his father’s media presence has only upped his stock. With Coach Walton seemingly cool with LaVar being, well, LaVar, it’s possible the Lakers have already determined what it’s doing with the second pick.