On a team that consists of supporting characters Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and Lonzo Ball, it wasn’t a player who uttered the first potentially explosive comment.
Perhaps predictably, it was Lonzo’s father, LaVar, again shading Luke Walton with the Lakers off to a slow start.
The Lakers already have sounded some alarms, with team president Magic Johnson calling a meeting with Walton after the Lakers started 2-5. They have won two games in a row since, and James said the meeting was “not a big deal.”
Maybe it was a big deal to the loudest father in sports.
“They’re starting off a little ragged because, if you have a guy that’s your second pick and you have the best player in the world, don’t take them out of the game, leave them in the game and rotate three other guys around them,” LaVar Ball told Sky Sports in a story published Friday night. “That’s how you get victories if you want to win.
“But if you want to try to figure out things, different combinations, taking guys in and out, no. I’m going to go with Lonzo and LeBron. You guys are going to stay in the game until we finish winning. If we [are] winning by a lot, then everyone else can play.”
In 27 minutes per game, Lonzo is 9.3 points and 4.3 assists per game, both down from his rookie season, as James dominates the ball more and the Lakers have a deeper rotation. That will not fly for a father who, last year, suggested Walton had lost the team.
“You [would have] a rotation of eight, instead of a rotation of 12,” Ball said. “Can’t make everybody happy.
“… Lonzo is a very special player. He makes everybody around him better. So guess what, when you play in the game, don’t put him in the corner, he can’t make no one better. … But here’s the thing: If you have Lonzo, which is a special player that makes everybody better, and you have the best player in the world in LeBron James, how do you not win a championship?”
That is some steep expectations for a team still a summer away from acquiring a legitimate Robin for James.
“If they need help, shoot, I’ll coach them,” Ball said. “I can coach them with my eyes closed.”
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