Posts Tagged ‘Lonzo Ball’

While Lonzo Ball won’t express it publicly, the Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard is frustrated with the way his team is playing, according to his father.

“He’s very disgusted but won’t say anything because he’s not used to losing like this,” LaVar said of his 20-year-old son Wednesday on SiriusXM NBA Radio.

The Lakers have lost five straight games and sit 11th in the Western Conference. While they have the eighth-best defensive rating in the league, their offense ranks among the league’s worst.

LaVar believes their woes can be fixed easily if “everybody would just drop their egos and just listen” to what he’s saying, and called out the head coach specifically over his purported mismanagement of Lonzo’s minutes.

“Luke Walton is doing what he’s doing, just like playing Lonzo in and out,” LaVar said. “Playing him a few minutes here, they wonder why his legs are sore. ‘Cause they’re running him a hundred miles per hour and then they shut him down for 10 minutes.”

LaVar added he doesn’t understand why the No. 2 pick isn’t starting fourth quarters and sometimes even spends the entire final frame on the bench.

Of course, it’s not the first time the loquacious dad has criticized the Lakers, and specifically, Walton’s decisions. He previously said the team was “soft” and didn’t know how to coach Lonzo. More recently, he said Walton’s decision to burn a timeout late against the Golden State Warriors cost Los Angeles the game and wasn’t a “Big Baller move.”

Lonzo is averaging 8.7 points while shooting just 31.3 percent from the field and 25 percent from deep, to go along with seven assists, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 32.9 minutes per game for the Lakers, who are on pace to miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

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LaVar Ball says he knows what type of coaching his son, 20-year-old rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, needs to be successful in the NBA, but thinks that isn’t what the Los Angeles Lakers are currently providing him

“They’re soft. They don’t know how to coach my son. I know how to coach him,” LaVar said Friday after the Lakers fell to 6-10 with a 122-113 loss to the Phoenix Suns, according to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus. “I tell him to go get the victory. Stop messing around.”

The head of Big Baller Brand added that he has no problem with Lakers head coach Luke Walton, but that he does with losing games.

After falling to the Suns, Walton said it’s important for his younger players to learn from their errors, and not to get too low each time they lose.

LaVar would apparently take a different approach with the impressionable roster, saying he would hold them more accountable for their mistakes.

“What I mean by babying (Lonzo), ‘He’ll figure it out,'” LaVar said. “It ain’t about that. ‘Be patient with him?’ Ain’t no patience if you’re winning.”

“They’re letting it go too easy, saying they’re a young team,” he added. “Forget about that. Put the (onus) on them. Say, ‘You guys need to win. You’ve got enough talent. Win some games.'”

LaVar added that losing at home “ain’t OK,” and said there aren’t any moral victories in a loss. “That’s why they’re so cool with losing by five or six, (to) say, ‘We was in the game.'”

Lonzo followed up his six-point performance against the Suns with his second triple-double of the 2017-18 campaign, ending Sunday’s 18-point blowout of the Denver Nuggets with 11 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 assists in just under 40 minutes of action.

He’s averaging 8.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 1.5 steals for the 7-10 Lakers, although his 31.3 field-goal percentage and his 22.8 3-point percentage has left a lot to be desired.

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How excited is Rob Pelinka about the potential of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2017 draft class that he saw in summer league?

“It’s kind of like if you go on YouTube and you think about Taylor Swift when she was 16 years old (playing) her first song,” the general manager explained on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday. “It’s her guitar, it’s her in a little studio, and you watch it and you listen to it and you say, ‘Wow, this is going to be a special thing to follow and a really cool narrative to unfold.'”

Pelinka sees some of that early T-Swift magic in this year’s No. 2 pick, Lonzo Ball, as well as No. 27 pick Kyle Kuzma and No. 30 pick Josh Hart. If the Lakers’ young core, including previous blue-chip prospects Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle, can combine for as many All-Star appearances as Grammys Swift’s won since breaking onto the scene a decade ago – 10 – Pelinka will be a happy man.

“I think it’s going to be a really cool phenomenon to watch unfold, much like the trajectory of a young artist that develops,” Pelinka said.

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The Los Angeles Lakers have their point guard of the future after selecting UCLA product Lonzo Ball in Thursday’s NBA draft – a move that made D’Angelo Russell expendable days prior.

While introducing Ball to the media, Lakers president Magic Johnson thanked Russell for his two years with the organization, but acknowledged that he wasn’t the right guy to lead the team.

“I’m going to do what it takes to get the right players in here with the right mindset. D’Angelo (Russell) is an excellent player. He has the talent to be an All-Star. We want to thank him for what he did for us,” Johnson said Friday, according to the Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina. “But what I needed was a leader. I needed somebody that also can make the other players better and also (somebody) that players want to play with.”

Russell, along with the $54 million remaining on Timofey Mozgov‘s contract, were sent to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick, which was used on Utah’s Kyle Kuzma.

During his short tenure with the Lakers, Russell’s character and maturity were brought into question on multiple occasions, including an incident in which he secretly recorded Nick Young confessing to cheating on his now ex-fiancee, musician Iggy Azalea.

Russell was essentially a shooting guard masquerading as a point guard, anyway, with Ball’s skills more suited to running an offense and promoting ball movement.

“He (Ball) gives you a scoring pass. That’s the key. Not just a pass. One that you can score. All our players are gonna be excited,” added Johnson, according to Mike Trudell‏ of Lakers.com.

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The always outspoken LaVar Ball and the world of professional wrestling seem like a match made in heaven.

With “Monday Night Raw” airing live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 26, World Wrestling Entertainment is reportedly interested in having LaVar – the father of the Lakers’ No. 2 overall pick, Lonzo – appear on its programming that night, according to Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin.

The two sides have been in talks, but nothing is yet set in stone.

While livestreaming Thursday’s NBA draft from their seats, LaVar and the rest of the Ball family in attendance were overheard discussing what sounds like the possibility of him being on the show.

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Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar kept up his criticism of LaVar Ball on Friday, saying that the publicity-seeking hoops dad is cheapening the college game.

“Everybody knows about his sons because he has been able to hype them,” Abdul-Jabbar told Philadelphia radio station 97.5 The Fanatic. “But I don’t think that’s good for college basketball. It looks like it’s a huckster show. And that bothers me, you know. You have people going those lengths to promote their kids. I don’t get it.”

The 70-year-old Hall of Famer has been critical of Ball before, saying last month that he doesn’t think LaVar is doing his sons any good. Like Abdul-Jabbar, Lonzo Ball starred at UCLA and could also end up playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Abdul-Jabbar, who has won more NBA MVPs (six) than anyone else in history, also reiterated his viewpoint that the one-and-done rule is a “travesty” for college basketball.

“One-and-dones doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said. “To have somebody come and be on campus for six months and play a basketball season, what is that? … it’s not good for the college game and it hasn’t been good for the pro game. I think they better find a different way of dealing with those issues.”

There’s a sense that alterations will need to eventually come to both eligibility and draft rules. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has gone on record saying the league is considering ditching the one-and-done rule as early as next season.

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It’s becoming more and more unclear whether the Los Angeles Lakers will opt to choose former UCLA standout Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick.

While Ball impressed in a number of different areas during his workout with the Lakers on Wednesday, some observers believed the 6-foot-6 point guard was out of shape, Mark Medina of the Orange County Register reports.

Ball admitted to being worn out following the session, telling Medina that the “drills get you tired.”

Reports surfaced earlier this week that Los Angeles was underwhelmed by Ball during his workout, and felt he failed to separate himself from the rest of the point guard prospects.

Ball has been linked to the Lakers for weeks, with his outspoken father LaVar telling reporters last month that Lonzo would only work out for Los Angeles.

Ball is coming off a tremendous freshman campaign with UCLA, averaging 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, six rebounds, and 1.8 steals on 55.1 percent shooting.