Lonzo Ball had an opportunity to squash his father’s assertion that the young Los Angeles Lakers are no longer interested in playing for head coach Luke Walton.
But the rookie point guard didn’t exactly offer a ringing endorsement.
Instead, Lonzo said he has no issue with Walton’s status as head coach because … of Walton’s status as head coach?
“I’ll play for anybody. … My job is to play basketball,” Lonzo said at Lakers practice when asked about coaching preferences. “I don’t decide who coaches. … I don’t think [Walton has lost the locker room]. I mean, he’s our head coach. We are going to play for him.”
Lonzo Ball on whether he is happy with Luke Walton as Lakers head coach: “I’ll play for anybody.” pic.twitter.com/9mSQFmReQo
— Bill Oram (@billoram) January 7, 2018
Whoa, grab a tissue and dial back the passion, Lonzo!
Lonzo’s teary-eyed defense of Walton came on the heels of father LaVar Ball‘s claim from Lithuania: “Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him.”
“Nobody wants to play for him. I can see it,” LaVar continued. “No high-fives when they come out of the game. People don’t know why they’re in the game. He’s too young. He’s too young. … He ain’t connecting with them anymore. You can look at every player, he’s not connecting with not one player. … Even if you bring in a LeBron or a [Paul] George, he can’t coach them guys. What is he gonna tell them? He’s too young. He has no control.”
For his part, Walton isn’t stressing the words of a man convinced he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one.
“I’m fine with it. It doesn’t bother me,” Walton said of LaVar’s criticism. “My only concern with any of it is for Zo. As long as Zo’s fine with it and Zo can come out and play, and it doesn’t affect mine and his relationship, then it doesn’t bother me at all.”
We all know who LaVar thinks should be coaching instead, but last time we saw him stalk a sideline he made his team forfeit when he didn’t like a call.