LaVar Ball Says the Lakers "Don't want to play" for Luke Walton

By Tully Corcoran

The Los Angeles Lakers are playing “like garbage” these days, and famous TV sports dad LaVar Ball thinks he knows why.

From ESPN:

“You can see they’re not playing for Luke no more,” Ball said from a spa resort in Birstonas, where he is staying while his two youngest sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, get ready to make their professional debuts with Lithuanian team Prienu Vytautas. “Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him.”

Ball is basing this judgment on two primary factors:

  1. The players don’t high five when they come out of the game
  2. Walton is young.

Yes, that’s it. That’s Ball’s reasoning in its entirety.

“That’s a good team,” he added of the Lakers, who have lost nine straight games. “Nobody wants to play for him. I can see it. No high-fives when they come out of the game. People don’t know why they’re in the game. He’s too young. He’s too young. … He ain’t connecting with them anymore. You can look at every player, he’s not connecting with not one player.”

The Lakers are not a good team. If they were, they would not have lost nine games in a row, which they have. And the heat is starting to turn up on Walton, who has begun fielding questions from the local media about his job security, per the Los Angeles Times.

So when Walton was asked Friday morning if he wonders whether his job is in danger, his answer was simple.

“No I don’t,” Walton said. “I coach as if it’s not. As I preach to my players, control what you can control in life; that’s gotta be my philosophy as well.”

The Lakers are 11-27, last in the Western Conference.