Jeff Goodman joined Keyshawn Johnson, Jorge Sedano, and LZ Granderson on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles this morning, and obviously much of the talk surrounded his reporting from Lithuania in which LaVar Ball said that Luke Walton has lost the Lakers. Here’s audio:
There has been a lot of backlash to the reporting. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, head of the NBA Coaches Association, said that ESPN is being a bad partner with the NBA. Stan Van Gundy said he wouldn’t go above and beyond to cooperate with ESPN, which includes an apparent refusal to do a sideline interview. Steve Kerr didn’t condemn ESPN per se, but thought this was a “societal” issue and that LaVar Ball isn’t an interesting story.
Goodman does not have any regrets. “News has changed,” Goodman said. “I’ve been covering it for a long, long time now. What’s news today is not what’s news five years ago, even two years ago. It is completely changed, and now, LaVar Ball saying what he did about Luke Walton is newsworthy. Nobody can doubt that.”
Goodman said that LaVar wound up on this tangent on his own, and that his question which drew this answer had nothing to do with Luke Walton, but was a general question about Lonzo Ball. Goodman also said he personally disagrees with LaVar because he thinks that Walton is actually a good coach, and that the Lakers aren’t nearly as talented as LaVar thinks.
Sedano asked Goodman if there is hypocrisy on the part of Carlisle and Van Gundy, two coaches who are outspoken, speaking out against someone else’s outspokenness.
“To me, I understand thinking that LaVar is a buffoon, and that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Goodman said. “But I’ve seen it a lot with college basketball and NBA coaches. They always protect their own. Do they have any more knowledge of the Lakers situation, and whether Walton has lost that team, than LaVar does? The answer is no … LaVar could be dead on, we don’t know that.”