Heisler: Lakers should add a year to Luke Walton’s contract every time LaVar Ball rips him
By Mark Heisler
Yes, Daddy Dearest.
There’s no getting away from LaVar Ball even when he’s half a world away, continuing his outrages from Lakerdom to Lithuania.
The Lakers live for the day they no longer hear his name, but there’s no pretending he doesn’t exist – as they’re trying to do – or that his latest rip of Luke Walton wasn’t a distraction, or that it’s not damaging their brand as they prepare to pursue elite free agents.
In the annals of problem parents, this is beyond the Marv Marinoviches. LaVar is more like Faye Dunaway playing Joan Crawford in the 1981 film, using her children as extras, ordering them to call her “Mommy Dearest” and visiting her hysteria on them as her movie queen status fades.
Ironically, and dismayingly for the Lakers, they’re committed to Walton with Jeanie Buss tweeting #InLukeWeTrust in her New Year’s greeting … but with the heat on, no one had his back.
Furious though the Lakers were, they were afraid to reply and make the story even bigger. Luke was left to fend for himself at a tender moment with a nine-game losing streak, including the 37-point home loss to OKC that followed LaVar’s rip, in which Kyle Kuzma said, “We gave up.”
Worse was Lonzo’s response – “I can play for anyone” – or was it just low-key Lonzo being Lonzo?
Wait a year or two to see if Luke’s still here.
In the nick of time, the Lakers won three in a row … whether or not the credit goes to the Luke and the players.
Actually, it was Lonzo’s play and LaVar’s inspiration. Or LaVar’s inspiration and Lonzo’s play. Just ask LaVar.
Not that it’s easy … or possible … to deal with someone not even Magic Johnson can charm or persuade. The Lakers had him in on Nov. 29, at which time […]