The Lakers are trying to shut that down.
In what many employees at Staples Center view as the “LaVar Ball rule,” this season the Los Angeles Lakers are enforcing “an existing policy” that no longer allows members of the media to congregate in a section of the arena among family and associates of players after games.
Family, friends and agents wait for players in the seats behind the basket closest to the visiting team’s locker room at the conclusion of games. Interviews conducted in that designated area and near the tunnel leading to the arena corridors are now forbidden.
In prior years, media socialized and, at times, interviewed individuals in that sector without interference. If a media member is recognized in that area now, arena security or Laker staffers direct that he or she leave the area.
“It’s not a new policy; it’s an existing policy,” a team spokesperson told ESPN. “There has been more media presence in that area than before. That section is strictly for family and guests of players. It’s a privacy concern.”
Privacy is a valid concern, but I don’t think media are pestering other family and friends who don’t want to talk.
The Lakers are trying to silence LaVar, and it won’t work. He’ll just find other place to talk – or ignore the team’s policy entirely. Neither he nor the media interviewing him work for the Lakers. The media works more regularly with the Lakers and might want to avoid acrimony, but LaVar doesn’t seem like one to quietly accept this. Again though, simply doing interviews elsewhere is easy enough for him.
Most of what LaVar says is harmless, but some of it can affect the team. I doubt we’ll hear any less from him as a result of this rule.