Ex-NBA Coach: Lakers Need to Tell LaVar Ball to 'Shut Up' If He Criticizes Team

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 22:  LaVar Ball attends a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center on October 22, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

LaVar Ball has played nice with Los Angeles Lakers brass to this point in the season, but one former NBA head coach recently told Sporting News' Mitch Lawrence he believes the front office will need to take a hard line if he lashes out against head coach Luke Walton. 

Responding to a hypothetical question about how he would react, the coach—who was also a team president, according to Lawrence—said he would ask president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and owner Jeanie Buss to step in on his behalf. 

"Actually, that message should come from Magic and (owner) Jeanie Buss," he said. "The message has to be: 'We get how much you care about your kid. We really do. But now this is serious business. You can no longer be a Little League dad. You need to just shut up.' Say it nicely, but it has to be said."

Ball had something of a public feud with former Chino Hills High School coach Stephan Gilling—who parted ways with the program in April following a 30-3 campaign—but he hasn't sounded off about Walton since his son, Lonzo, was selected second overall by the Lakers. 

"He's been great," Walton said in August, according to Spectrum SportsNet's Chris Martin Palmer. "Every interaction has been nothing but positive."

That said, the Ball family patriarch hasn't strayed from throwing verbal jabs at Los Angeles Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley and Washington Wizards floor general John Wall

Through four games, Lonzo is averaging 11.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists while shooting 31.6 percent from the field and 22.7 percent from three.