Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle doesn’t think LaVar Ball is worthy of news stories anymore. Carlisle had a problem with ESPN publishing comments from Lonzo Ball’s father criticizing Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton, via Chris Walder of The Score.
LaVar Ball—speaking from Lithuania where his younger sons are currently playing professional basketball—argued that Walton had lost the locker room.
“Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more,” he said, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN. “They don’t want to play for him.”
While Ball is entitled to his opinion, Carlisle argued that it shouldn’t be enough to put in an article.
“They should look at their sources and do a better job of determining whether they have any merit or any validity or are they just blowhard loudmouths,” the 58-year-old said, per Steve Popper of NorthJersey.com. “That’s what I’m saying.”
The Lakers have fallen to 11-27 this season after suffering nine straight losses, something that will likely cause frustration for any player, family member or fan. However, Lonzo Ball hasn’t given any indication he doesn’t appreciate Walton as his head coach.
“My job is to play basketball,” the rookie point guard said Sunday, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. “I don’t decide who coaches.”
As for his father, LaVar is known for his outrageous statements that make headlines, from saying he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one to claiming Lonzo is better than Stephen Curry. However, Carlisle clearly sees this as counterproductive for the team and the league being disrespected.
Lakers president Magic Johnson was initially not concerned with LaVar being a distraction, but the constant discussion appears to be angering other teams and coaches.
By Rod Goldbeg