- Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
- LaVar Ball says Lonzo Ball should play the entire fourth quarter for the Lakers every game so he can get into his rhythm. The comments come after LaVar Ball assured the Lakers that his outspoken character wouldn’t be an issue for the team once Lonzo Ball officially became a Laker.
LaVar Ball has some thoughts on the Lakers’ fourth-quarter rotation.
LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of Lonzo Ball, has made headlines and even earned his own reality show for his attitude and bold proclamations. Most recently, the elder Ball turned his attention to the Lakers’ fourth-quarter rotation and his son’s struggles to get into a shooting rhythm.
LaVar Ball offered his suggestion on how his son can find his shot again while speaking after the Lakers’ 124-112 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. The second-overall pick in the NBA Draft shot a paltry 29.9% from the floor through the Lakers’ first ten games.
“You’ve got to shoot the ball,” LaVar Ball told Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus. “You’re not going to make it if you don’t take it.”
“Let him play the whole fourth quarter and bet you’ll always win. He’ll get into a better flow,” Ball said. “The in and out, sitting out six to 10 minutes? He’s not going to take no shots because he’s not in the flow. He don’t want to hurt the team by shooting.”
While LaVar Ball has his fair share of coaching experience with his sons AAU team the Big Ballers, his move to pass along advice to Luke Walton is a bold step down a road the Lakers were hoping they wouldn’t have to go down.
The Lakers drafted Lonzo after team president Magic Johnson had a sit-down with LaVar at the family’s Chino Hills estate, and the Ball patriarch assured Johnson that his bombastic character was strictly that, and something of a marketing tool to build his brand and set his sons up for success. With the assurance that his antics wouldn’t spill over to NBA courtside, Los Angeles felt comfortable taking a chance on Lonzo.
While LaVar’s most recent comments don’t call out coach Luke Walton by name, they do represent a shift in that direction, something that the Lakers would prefer to avoid. Being generous, the comments could be taken as a joke (as with many of LaVar’s bolder claims), but that doesn’t change the fact that there is now out-in-the-open criticism coming from Ball and directed at the organization.
The Lakers have started out the season a slightly-better-than-expected 5-5 and have shown the promising signs that fans of a rebuilding team were looking for. While they still have quite a bit of work to do before fulfilling LaVar’s prediction of a spot in the postseason, they are a team trending upwards.
But for that trend to continue, Magic, Walton, and the rest of the Lakers organization will have to do their best to navigate any potential storms that Ball’s comments bring.