Lakers to Enforce Media Policy at Staples Center Referenced as 'LaVar Ball Rule'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2017

FILE - In this July 7, 2017, file photo, LaVar Ball, father of Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball and UCLA player LiAngelo Ball, watches the Lakers play the Los Angeles Clippers during an NBA summer league basketball game, in Las Vegas. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday, Nov. 19, that he should have left three UCLA basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball, accused of shoplifting in China in jail after LaVar Ball minimized Trump’s involvement in winning the players’ release during an interview Saturday, Nov. 18, with ESPN. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
John Locher/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers are barring members of the media from being in the section of the arena designated for friends and family of players after games—a policy some are calling the "LaVar Ball Rule."

"It's not a new policy; it's an existing policy," a team spokesperson told ESPN's Chris Haynes. "There has been more media presence in that area than before. That section is strictly for family and guests of players. It's a privacy concern."

The new enforcement of the rule comes amid widespread coverage of comments made by Ball, the father of Lakers first-round pick Lonzo Ball. LaVar has become a national media star with his boisterous opinions, some of which have included criticizing Lakers players and coach Luke Walton.

Most recently, LaVar Ball called out Julius Randle for not passing Lonzo the ball in transition during an overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. He also chastised Walton for calling timeouts late in the game. 

"I'll tell you the crucial point. When Julius [Randle] got that ball at the end, he should have thrown it forward. Lonzo had a wide-open layup. Or three-pointer. That's game. It wouldn't have gone to overtime. That was game ... Julius tried to take too many dribbles, then they fouled him, or they called timeout. But if he would have thrown the ball ahead, coach wouldn't have called a timeout. Even if he did, he can't call it because the ball's in the air. Lonzo's running the lane, game over. That's the best time to score.

"... But every time they score two three-pointers, it's a game of runs. Don't call timeout, because that's means you're scared. You make two three-pointers on me, I got two more to come...Do the Big Baller move. Don't call no timeouts."

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Lonzo Ball has struggled throughout his rookie season, averaging 8.7 points, 7.0 assists and 6.9 rebounds on 31.3 percent shooting. The Lakers have been better with him off the floor on most nights, though he has shown occasional flashes of brilliance. He became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double in a Nov. 11 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Lakers have consistently maintained they have no issue with LaVar Ball's public comments. 

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