LaVar Ball Says Lakers ‘Don’t Want to Play’ for Coach Luke Walton

AP Mindaugas Kulbis
AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis

LaVar Ball thinks he knows exactly why the Los Angeles Lakers are doing so poorly this year: He says it is because the players don’t want to play for a young coach.

In an interview with ESPN, Ball claimed he has it all figured out.

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.

Despite that even Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma has admitted that the team is “playing like garbage,” LaVar Ball thinks the Lakers are “a good team.”

Instead of blaming the players, though, Ball is blaming the coach:

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.

As evidence of this, Ball cites the fact that the Lakers don’t high-five on the court. Ball doubled-down on his belief that Walton is too young, and even said that if Walton had top players such as LeBron James on his team, he wouldn’t be able to coach them either.

“Even if you bring in a LeBron or a [Paul] George, he can’t coach them guys,” Ball said. “What is he gonna tell them? He’s too young. He has no control.”

Whatever is going on inside that Staples Center, the Lakers are doing poorly; the team is 11-27 and last in the Western Conference.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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