Lonzo Ball will work out for the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, in a session that could determine the direction of his entire NBA career.
But a face (and loud voice) familiar to anyone who’s watched the UCLA point guard play in college or high school will not be on hand—according to Lakers head coach Luke Walton, Ball’s father LaVar Ball has been denied access to the workout.
“Not to my understanding,” Walton said. “If he is, nobody has told me yet. I don’t plan on him being here, but that could just be a lack of communication if he is.”
When Rome asked Walton if the progenitor of Big Baller Brand would be welcome at dinner, the head coach enjoyed the idea of having the character on hand, but said LaVar would be barred from watching the workout itself.
“Absolutely. 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 added that Lonzo’s father won’t affect the team’s evaluation of him, in part because the son of NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton understands what it’s like to have a colorful dad.
“We’re in the NBA, to me, that’s not an issue. Parents are always gonna have their opinions,” the head coach said. “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.”
Lonzo Ball has been nearly unanimously projected as the No. 2 overall selection, which the Lakers possess, in the upcoming NBA draft, behind Washington point guard Markelle Fultz.
However, several recent reports have suggested the Lakers might look elsewhere with their draft pick.