LaVar Ball says Lakers Coach Luke Walton has "Lost the team". Ball spoke to ESPN's Jeff Goodman at 5 am local time (BIRSTONAS, Lithuania) Saturday to watch his Son Lonzo Ball in his first game back from his shoulder injury. Ball said "you can see they're not playing for Luke no more". He continued by saying "Luke doesn't have control of that team, they don't want to play for him". "That's a good team who have lost 9-straight games" he added. "Nobody wants to play for him". "I can see it". he continued by saying "no high-five when they come out of games". "People don't know that they're in a game". "He's too young". "He's too young". "He ain't connecting with them any more". "You can look at the players, he's not connecting to one player". Lonozo looked good, but he also looked "disgusted", Ball said. He was ready to play. Four minutes left in the quarter, he dunked it, getting in a flow and coach sit's him down. "SAT HIM DOWN". Now the game goes from four points to 10 to 15 to 20. "idk what they're doing. "if he's ready to play, let him play". "Don't try and monitor no minutes, put on restrictions." Lavar ball says he is "confident" that LeBron James will be coming to the Lakers in the offseason. "LeBron's coming to L.A. I know he's coming to L.A.," Ball said. "LeBron is not a fool. What's the only way he can beat Jordan? You can't get more championships. Only one way, to say every team I've gone to I've won a championship. Go to Lakers and win a championship, then you're better than Jordan. Ball finally said even with James or George, Walton can't coach those guys. "What is he gonna tell them"? "He's too young & had no control of that team".
Coach Walton and Lonzo spoke with ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk;
Luke Walton and Lonzo Ball both say that the Los Angeles Lakers' head coach has not lost the locker room during a nine-game losing streak, as LaVar Ball asserted. Lonzo added "He's a grown man and "like i said he's going to say what he wants to say". "I can't do nothing about that". "My job is to play basketball, i don't decide who's coaching".
Luke walton said: "Yeah. We're, I feel, very secure in my job status right now," Walton said. "We talk all the time. They're 100 percent behind and supporting what we're doing."
Lakers owner Jeannie Buss tweeted on New Years EVE #InLukeWeTrust. A Lakers source told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that Walton's job status is "not even a conversation."
Earlier in the season LaVar ball was critical of Walton's coaching of Lonzo saying "he's soft", and "they don't know how to coach my son, like i do".
The Lakers already had an conversation with Ball and asked him to tone down with his criticism of Luke Walton to have a better environment with Lonzo Ball.
The Lakers (11-27) were competitive to start the season, going 8-10 in their first 18 games. They held a team meeting on Dec. 28 to air out myriad issues, from players who were unhappy about roles, minutes and rotations, to the direction the team is taking with its focus on signing two star free agents next summer.
"I don't see that the players aren't playing hard," Walton said. "I think the players are playing very hard, we've been through a hard stretch, but they are giving us what they have and we're going to keep working and we'll be fine."
"I'm fine with it, it doesn't bother me," Walton said of LaVar Ball's repeated criticism of him. "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."
Thanks to Jeff Goodman, ESPN.com, Ohm Youngmisuk, and Ramona Shelburne for the information.