At this point basically every member of the Los Angeles Lakers organization who has had a microphone put in front of them in the last week has been asked for their thoughts on Lonzo Ball and his father, LaVar Ball.
Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka has said the team isn’t worried about LaVar Ball. Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton said he’s not concerned because of his own father’s “loud personality.” Larry Nance, Jr. said he respects how proud LaVar Ball is of his son, while some fans took to stalking D’Angelo Russell’s Twitter likes to get his thoughts on Lonzo Ball.
During an appearance on ESPN Los Angeles, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson noted that the Lakers are in the process of scheduling their workout with Lonzo Ball, and they’re hoping to learn about more than just his abilities on the court.
"Does he possess the talent, and the mindset, and the basketball skill we're looking for? Of course. We just have to get him in for an interview first before we can make those types of decisions (on whether or not to draft him),” Johnson said.
LaVar Ball will almost surely come up in that interview process, and while Johnson has spoken about his thoughts on the elder Ball before, he re-iterated that he’s not concerned about anything other than Lonzo Ball.
“I don’t look at any parent, when it comes to a professional league, as a problem,” Johnson said. “We’ve always had parents who love their sons or daughters... Who also think their child is the best.”
Pressed about LaVar Ball again, Johnson continued.
“I have no problem with LaVar," Johnson said, comparing the situation to how few are upset with Kris Jenner for making Kim Kardashian and her other daughters into stars and millionaires.
"He’s just saying my son is great and there’s nothing bad with that,” Johnson said.
Rather than seeing it as a negative, Johnson thinks LaVar Ball should be lauded for his support.
“You have to give the father a lot of credit. For being in not just Lonzo’s life, but the other two sons as well. I’m happy that a father goes around and say great things about his son, and it seems like it hasn’t bothered Lonzo,” Johnson said. “As long as it doesn’t bother him, it’s not going to bother the Lakers organization as long as Lonzo performs on the basketball court.”
Based on their public comments, it doesn’t appear anyone inside the Lakers is worried about LaVar Ball, so it’s possible that fans shouldn’t panic either.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here or listen to plenty of Lonzo/LaVar talk with Chris McGee of Spectrum Sportsnet below), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.