It didn’t take long for Lakers head coach Luke Walton to put out the fire that LaVar Ball nearly started.
Papa Ball made headlines Tuesday when he criticized the Lakers coaching staff for how it has coached Lonzo so far, calling them “soft” in doing so.
It was only a matter of time before Walton was going to respond to Ball’s comments, which he did when asked about them before Tuesday’s game against the Bulls.
“Absolutely nothing,” Walton told reporters, which can be heard in a video provided by Spectrum SportsNet. “I was actually, I was really proud of our media guys this morning for not asking about that because it’s not what we’re here to do or talk about.”
Walton then spoke about how Ball’s parenting has helped Lonzo develop as a person.
“I will say this: I think that he has done a phenomenal job as a father with Lonzo, because Lonzo is a special young man,” Walton added. “He’s selfless, he’s unselfish, his teammates love him, he cares about them, he plays the right way. So he’s done a great job with that, but we’re not concerned with what parents think of how we’re coaching the team.”
It’s interesting that Walton threw in that last tidbit, which was a subtle way of telling Papa Ball to stay in his lane. And sure, Walton has been patient with Ball so far, but that’s understandable, given that he just recently turned 20 years of age.
There’s no reason to rush Lonzo’s development, at least not right now. The Lakers aren’t ready to win just yet — and while that strategy may change next season, the coaching staff is currently focused on developing its young players, as it should be.