- The Washington Wizards are the latest team to go after Lonzo Ball, with Marcin Gortat saying John Wall would “torture” Ball for 48 minutes because of LaVar Ball’s trash talk. The Los Angeles Lakers stood up for Lonzo Ball, saying they had his back and the younger Ball was irked by the Wizards’ comments. Lonzo Ball continues to insist that he doesn’t mind, but a weekly sideshow about opponents going after him may become tiring for the Lakers.
Less than a week after Patrick Beverley warned Lonzo Ball that NBA players would go after him because of his father’s outspoken ways, the Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard is once again under attack.
On Monday, Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat tweeted that his teammate John Wall would “torture” Ball for 48 minutes when the two point guards play Wednesday night.
Gortat was responding to a tweet with a video of Ball’s father, LaVar Ball, saying the Wizards should be prepared for his son because the younger Ball wouldn’t lose twice in the same week.
man….. pleaseeeeee!!! @JohnWall will torture him for 48min ????????????????
— Marcin Gortat???????? (@MGortat) October 23, 2017
The comments apparently did not please Ball or the Lakers. Lakers forward Brandon Ingram told reporters later that Gortat’s tweet bothered Ball.
“The competitor in Lonzo, of course he didn’t take it so well and, with his teammates behind him, we didn’t take it so well,” Ingram said.
Ball, once again, played it cool when asked about the tweet, saying: “I don’t pay no mind to it.” He added: “I already know my teammates have my back. So we’re going to go out there – we’re going to play and hopefully get a win.”
Though Wall didn’t take credit for Gortat’s comment, he did acknowledge to The Washington Post that he wanted to play well against Ball because of the older Ball’s comments.
“Certain matchups you really get up for,” Wall said. “Like when you play Steph [Curry], you definitely want to have a good game. I’m playing against [Ball]. [Gortat] said what he said about me. I didn’t say anything. His dad has been talking … That makes me want to go out there and lead my team and play the best I can play.”
Once again, this is the fear some people had about Ball’s rookie year. The second pick in this year’s NBA draft, he has been thrust into an even brighter spotlight because of his father’s words, and though Ball has said his father’s brashness doesn’t bother him, it clearly bothers his opponents. Ball responded to a weak opening game with a 29-point, 11-assist effort in a win over the Phoenix Suns in his second game. Through three games, he is averaging 13 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. The attention certainly doesn’t seem to be taking too big a toll thus far.
But a weekly sideshow about opponents going after Ball because of his father’s words may become tiresome for the Lakers as the season continues.