The silence has been shattered in a big way.
LaVar Ball had remained quiet for months about oldest son Lonzo’s NBA career, but with Lonzo being dangled in a trade with the Pelicans, that has all changed abruptly. LaVar dipped his toe in the water by telling ESPN on Monday that he wants Lonzo to be moved to the Suns. A day later he explained why and torched the young core of the Lakers roster while he was at it.
“You don’t even hear of [Kyle] Kuzma if Lonzo don’t make him in the Las Vegas Summer League,” LaVar told Arizona’s Sports Station 98.7.
“You see every time Kuzma plays by himself? [Josh] Hart by himself? They get nothing. [Brandon] Ingram play by himself? They get nothing. They look raggedy. Lonzo, he makes everybody better. How can you make everybody better if you got four people dribbling the ball up the court? You put him in a corner. You try to make him a 3-and-D guy. He’s been a guy who controls the game. You can’t control the game if you’re sitting on the bench and you’re taking him in and out of the game.”
LaVar’s silence has been timed with the Lakers’ signing of LeBron James, though he dismissed any idea there was a connection.
“Afraid of LeBron? I ain’t afraid of Jesus!” LaVar said during the interview.
But his harshest opinions were saved for Lakers coach Luke Walton, whom he called for to be fired last season. There was a league-wide backlash for that and it could be coming again.
“If a coach gets behind Lonzo and has confidence in him, I’m cool. ‘Cause that’s when he’s very successful,” LaVar said. “He’s been successful in AAU, high school and college. ‘Cause the guys were behind him 110 percent. This half-(expletive) (expletive), it don’t work.
“If you look at my boys, the one thing they do do is win. Being undefeated, Gelo and Melo winning 60 games in a row, my boys don’t lose too much. When they got to the Lakers, Luke Walton was the worst coach ever for Lonzo ’cause he had a losing mentality. He’s been losing for three years.”
And now we’ve reached the crux of LaVar’s diatribe. The Ball patriarch is obsessed with getting his three sons on the same NBA team and now realizes that will never happen with the Lakers and doesn’t see it happening with the Pelicans, either. For some reason he thinks Phoenix is the place that will make it happen. But Lonzo has been underwhelming as the No. 2 pick. LiAngelo Ball has not even been able to garner a G League contract and is playing in LaVar’s Junior Basketball Association. LaMelo, who is playing in high school right now, is a borderline first-round pick in the 2020 draft, according to scouts.
The problem for LaVar is that Lonzo is on his rookie contract and has no say of where he gets traded. LaVar is trying to change that by trashing the players who would be traded alongside him and making threats that could hurt Lonzo’s future.
“Even if my son goes to New Orleans, you can’t make him play,” LaVar said. “Phoenix, they might have a chance to get all three of my boys and win these championships and understand what winning is about. But I need all three of my boys on the court ’cause that’s 60 percent of the team that’s in to winning and not worried about how much money they’re going to make.
“It’s time for something new. The Ball boys.”
Something new from the same old LaVar.
This post was originally posted at https://nypost.com/2019/02/05/lavar-ball-burns-down-everything-lakers-in-desperate-lonzo-move/. WGEH does not own this content and is not responsible for it.