The Los Angeles Lakers plan to work Lonzo Ball out at their practice facility Wednesday, and take him to dinner Tuesday night. According to Lakers head coach Luke Walton, the plan isn’t for Ball’s outspoken father LaVar Ball to be at either event.
"If he is (coming to dinner), nobody has told me yet. I don't plan on him being here, but I guess that could just be a lack of communication if he is,” Walton said during an appearance on “The Jim Rome Show.”
Walton said that despite him not being aware of any plans for LaVar Ball to be at the team’s dinner with his son — who the Lakers are widely expected to take with No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft — he is welcome to join the team there.
Where he won’t be joining them, however, is Lonzo Ball’s workout, which won’t be open to the media or parents.
"I think the workout is something that we'll keep the doors closed on, but I think he definitely would make the dinner more entertaining. He's definitely welcome to join us for that,” Walton said.
Despite the elder Ball not being welcome to watch his son’s workout, Walton said he’s not worried about any potential problems the Big Baller Dad’s outspoken nature could potentially create if the Lakers draft Lonzo Ball.
"In the NBA that's not an issue. Parents are going to have their opinions, they're going to be outspoken at times, as you know Jim I have a very outspoken father myself. It doesn't bother me,” Walton said.
“We're going to coach,” Walton continued, before smartly catching and correcting himself (emphasis mine). “If we were to draft him, we're going to coach him. He's going to be a part of our team, a part of our family and we'll go from there. This is the NBA and we'll keep the team where it needs to be and not let outside things like that influence us on whether or not we took the kid."
Walton isn’t wrong. The Lakers shouldn’t let Lonzo Ball’s father determine whether or not they draft him if they determine he’s the best player available with the No. 2 pick. After getting to know him a bit Tuesday night and working him out Wednesday, the Lakers will likely have a better idea of whether or not they believe Lonzo Ball is the right fit for their team.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.