LaVar Ball seems to think he knows more about how to train for the NBA than Gunnar Peterson, a trained professional the Los Angeles Lakers hired last year. According to LaVar, the “bulls**t workouts” Peterson designed for the Lakers were the cause for Lonzo Ball’s injury woes.
Here we go again (via Alex Kennedy of HoosHype):
“My expectation for Lonzo is for him to be twice as good as he was this year, and to be more healthy,” LaVar told HoopsHype. “He understands, he went through it. If you’re going to be doing those [workouts with] rubber-bands like that dude Gunnar has him doing, that [is] bullsh*t training. That’s what I call it. Sh*t, he wasn’t like that when I brought him over there. When he first came [to the Lakers], he never got hurt. He was never hurt.”
What LaVar doesn’t mention is how grueling an 82-game season is compared to anything Lonzo had gone through before being drafted by the Lakers. So when he mentions Lonzo never being hurt previously, well, yeah. Whatever he went through before the NBA does not compare to competing nightly with arguably the greatest athletes in the world.
It’s also worth noting that the Lakers enjoyed relatively good health for most of the season and most of the injuries that did take place were of the contact or hard tissue (broken bones, sprains, etc.) variety that are impossible to prevent anyway.
LaVar continues, given his two cents on what’s best for Lonzo moving forward:
“Now, you’ve got these guys talking about, ‘Well, I’ve got this special workout for Lonzo…’ No! Lonzo’s gotta lift that pig iron, that real iron, and he’s gotta run some hills. That’s stuff they don’t have him doing,” LaVar said. “Some of these guys try to act like they’re the best trainers in the world because they trained some people with some God-danged names. But me? I ain’t worried about the names. I want to see your production! You have all these players coming through. Well, why are they getting hurt?”
The Lakers had reportedly told LaVar to quiet some of this kind of criticism down, but it would appear he simply can’t help himself. It’s also worth noting that Lonzo played 52 of the 82 games and earned a spot on the second All-Rookie team.
It stands to reason considering the impact he had on the team that had he missed less time, a first-team selection was well within reach.
LaVar’s frustration makes sense. Lonzo was very good for the vast majority of the time he spent on the court. The impact he made both offensively and defensively was incredibly fun to watch take place coming from a rookie. Still, these kinds of outbursts serve no one but himself, and even that’s debatable.
So we find ourselves once again in a spot where Lonzo is going to have to choose between the organization he plays for and his dad.
Heading into the offseason, that was going to be something to watch — whether he would allow the Lakers to handle his training moving forward or go back to work with LaVar. That remains to be seen, and we have an entire offseason to find out which direction he goes in and how everyone involved handles that decision.
For now, we have to see how the Lakers handle this latest rant. They’ve taken a fairly passive approach thus far, but this has to get old eventually, if it hasn’t already.