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Monday, December 18, 2017

LaVar Ball: Luke Walton, Lakers ‘don’t know how to coach my son’

Lonzo Ball has experienced some growing pains early on in his NBA career, and his father LaVar believes that has something to do with the Los Angeles Lakers not knowing the best way to coach the rookie.

Like most of his teammates, Lonzo Ball’s performance this season has been inconsistent. The former UCLA star has shown flashes of being able to run an NBA offense, but he’s shooting 31.3 percent from the field and has struggled to put the ball in the basket. Lakers coach Luke Walton has chosen to be patient with Ball and the rest of his young roster.

“This is a great teaching moment … everybody in the NBA is good,” Walton said following Friday night’s 122-113 loss to the Phoenix Suns. “Just because we beat a team twice doesn’t mean we’re better than they are. … As you’re building, you’re on that path. It’s never [smooth]. It’s never just you get it and all of a sudden you don’t have slippage anymore. Every team goes through it.

“The important thing for us is that we learn from our mistakes, we keep our head up, we keep working and grinding away to get where we all want to be.”

Not surprisingly, LaVar Ball strongly disagrees with Walton’s mentality. The elder Ball told Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report that Walton and his staff need to be tougher on Lonzo.

“They’re soft. They don’t know how to coach my son. I know how to coach him,” LaVar Ball said. “I tell him to go get the victory. Stop messing around.”

When asked if he has an issue with Walton, LaVar said he just wants to see the team win.

“No, I have a problem with losing,” he replied.

Walton understands that the Lakers are not going to contend for an NBA title this season, and he is trying to balance that reality with developing the team and motivating young players. LaVar Ball thinks those players — his son included — need to be called out more.

“What I mean by babying [Lonzo], ‘He’ll figure it out,'” Ball said. “It ain’t about that. ‘Be patient with him?’ Ain’t no patience if you’re winning.

“They’re letting it go too easy, saying they’re a young team. Forget about that! Put the [onus] on them. Say, ‘You guys need to win. You’ve got enough talent. Win some games.'”

LaVar added that he feels some players on the Lakers roster are “cool with losing by five or six” just because they remained competitive.

We’ve known all along that LaVar could potentially become a headache for the Lakers, and this is the second time this month that he has questioned the way the team is handling his son. As long as the Lakers keep losing more than they win, that isn’t going to change.

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