Anyone that had kept up with LaVar Ball's antics prior to the NBA Draft and throughout the offseason has gotten a glimpse of the rampant madman he can become through adversity. Take for instance calling for the firing of former Chino Hills High School basketball coach Stephan Gilling or forcing tournament organizers to send a female referee home for what he deemed as bad officiating, threatening to and later leaving prior to the end of regulation as his son LaMelo Ball and his team, the Big Ballers, were forced to forfeit during the Adidas Uprising Summer Tournament.
This very plague has now found its nest in the struggling Los Angeles Lakers, as his son Lonzo has gotten off to a horrid start to the NBA season, with shooting numbers that resemble some of the worst in NBA history.
Recently, coach Luke Walton attributed Lonzo's struggles to thinking too much on his poor shooting and getting in his own head — a notion LaVar didn't welcome whatsoever.
“[Lonzo] doesn't look like he's searching for nothing,” LaVar Ball said on Friday after the Lakers let one get away from them at Staples Center against the Phoenix Suns, 122-113, according to Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus. “He's trying to get that W — that's what it is.”
Lonzo's poor shooting has been accompanied by a few flashes of brilliance, a couple of triple-double outings that have drawn comparisons to Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson with their all-around games. But for LaVar, it isn't about his son's efficiency or lack thereof, but the results in the win-loss column.
“Go get the W. Do whatever it takes. That's why I'm down here saying, ‘Rebound,'” LaVar said. “He's been away from me too long. I see tendencies in his game — they're trying to baby him a little bit.”
“They're soft. They don't know how to coach my son. I know how to coach him. I tell him to go get the victory. Stop messing around.”
Asked if he has a problem with Walton's coaching style, the Ballfather answered matter-of-factly.
“No, I have a problem with losing.”
LaVar's approach is a win-now, while Walton and the Lakers have just tried to hold their heads above water and keep the organization afloat enough to entice free agents to come and join the team next offseason.
“This is a great teaching moment… everybody in the NBA is good. Just because we beat a team twice doesn't mean we're better than they are,” Walton said after a loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Walton has done his best to maintain a balance between getting wins and generating experience and fluidity for his team, tinkering with rotations and riding the hot hand, as he did a week ago by playing Jordan Clarkson and sitting Ball through the fourth quarter.
“As you're building, you're on that path. It's never [smooth],” Walton said. “It's never just you get it and all of a sudden you don't have slippage anymore. Every team goes through it.”
“The important thing for us is that we learn from our mistakes, we keep our head up, we keep working and grinding away to get where we all want to be.”
It was only a matter of time, as many expected, before LaVar Ball would try to control everything around him and his sons, as he has grown used to their upbringing. Managing the resignation of a high school coach, getting a referee removed from a game, and now meddling with a pro coach's methods.