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Carlisle rips ESPN article, Lavar Ball issue

10 January 2018

Then on Sunday, Walton experimented with a rotation that had Lonzo Ball subbing out of the game earlier than usual. "His dad was talking s*** so I took him out early", he told Bill Oram of SoCal News Group. "A lot of them have shown their support as far as they know what it's like coaching young teams and from what they see, how hard our group plays, just like I do".

- This Laker team's had an issue for three weeks with chemistry.

Walton watched his Lakers snap a nine-game losing streak on Sunday night against the admittedly-terrible Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center. At 10-29, the Hawks have the worst record in the National Basketball Association.

"This is our guys coming out competing and getting a win", Walton said. We went through it a year ago. The outspoken father is overseeing the professional debut of his two youngest sons, but is still making headlines back home.

The head of the league's coaches association, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, ripped ESPN for doing the interview with Ball in the first place. LaVar subsequently signed his sons to professional contracts in Lithuania, where Goodman went to hear Ball say of the 37-year-old Walton, "Luke doesn't have control of the team no more".

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Sources close to Walton said he's more annoyed by the distraction than concerned about his job security. "That's what they do.' And it's our job as coaches and an organization to do what's best for our team and our players". "Like I said, he is going to say what he wants to say".

The rookie replied, "That's just his opinion".

Asked if he disagrees with the idea that he's lost the locker room, Walton responded, "I would disagree with that, yes". "My job is to play basketball".

"I coach as if it's not".

LaVar Ball has made headlines in the past for, among many other things, insisting that no other team should draft Lonzo Ball except the Lakers, placing a $495 price tag on the sneakers offered by his Big Baller Brand clothing line, saying he could beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1 and getting into a rift with President Donald Trump over how LiAngelo Ball was ultimately allowed to return to the USA following his shoplifting issue in China. "He's too young", Ball said.

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There was no immediate comment on the affair from Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, but Walton said he had spoken to club executives.

But when it comes to his rant on LaVar Ball and the coaches' reported plan to blackball outlets that interview Ball, I have to respectfully disagree.

When word of his meeting with Pelinka and Johnson went public, LaVar said something he's often said - that he has positive communication with Johnson.

Sunday night, Walton even tried to defuse the situation with a bit of humor.

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Carlisle rips ESPN article, Lavar Ball issue