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Clippers coach Doc Rivers says criticism of Lakers counterpart Luke Walton is ‘awful’

By in Press Enterprise on January 9, 2018

By Elliott Teaford

LOS ANGELES — LaVar Ball’s long-distance criticism of Lakers coach Luke Walton sent shockwaves through the NBA coaching fraternity that continued for another day. It was Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ turn to sound off about Ball’s statement that Walton had lost the support of the Lakers’ players.

“That’s awful,” Rivers said Monday before the Clippers faced the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center. “I just think it’s awful. I’m not going to go deep into that, because I’m not with them (the Lakers). But I am a coach. I just think it’s awful.”

The Lakers asked Ball, the outspoken father of point guard Lonzo Ball, to cease his verbal assaults on Walton earlier this season. But, after a period of silence, LaVar Ball sounded off to an ESPN reporter while with his two younger sons, who are playing in Lithuania.

LaVar Ball said in a story posted Sunday on ESPN’s website that Walton lost control of the Lakers’ locker room and the players “are not playing for Luke no more.” Lonzo Ball responded to his father’s comments by saying, “I’ll play for anybody.”

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LaVar Ball also said of the 39-year-old Walton in the ESPN article: “Even if you bring in a LeBron (James) or a (Paul) George (as free agents in the offseason), what’s he gonna tell them? He’s too young. He has no control.”

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