Report: Lakers worried about impact of LaVar Ball drama on Lonzo Ball

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The Lakers care what LaVar Ball says.

They proved that when they asked him to tone down his criticism of Lakers coach Luke Walton.

LaVar obviously didn’t listen, speculating Walton has lost the team.

That put Lonzo Ball in an awkward spot. He didn’t co-sign his father’s words, but Lonzo didn’t exactly endorse Walton, either.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

A source close to the player said he’s more concerned with establishing himself in the league and helping the team get out of its recent funk than wading into a controversy between his dad and the coach. Privately, there are those in the Lakers organization who have begun to worry about the toll that this tightrope act will take on the 20-year-old point guard if it continues.

It’ll probably continue. LaVar is getting all the attention he desires. Why would he stop the antics now?

It puts Lonzo in a tough spot.

He and Walton can probably get past LaVar’s criticism of the coach fairly easily. Walton appears to have thick skin and a sense of humor, and Lonzo has spent years putting his down and just playing while his dad mouths off.

But when LaVar critiques Lonzo’s teammates, that’s more likely to cause trouble. Players don’t like getting slammed in the press, and these young Lakers generally don’t have Walton’s perspective.

LaVar cares about Lonzo’s career, but LaVar also cares about making headlines. Sometimes, those goals diverge. The Lakers should be concerned, though not panicked, about where that leaves Lonzo.