Dick Vitale turns on ESPN for LaVar Ball coverage

Lonzo Ball's father La Var Ball

The Lakers wouldn't have gotten so many fast-break opportunities if they didn't play such competitive defense.

Ball made the comments from Lithuania, where he was recently mobbed upon arriving. Lonzo said his dad "is going to say what he wants to say" while also pointing out that he can't "decide who coaches".

"You can see they're not playing for Luke no more", LaVar said, via ESPN. It erodes the trust that we've built with ESPN, and our coaches are upset because Luke Walton does not deserve that.

"I'll play for anybody", Lonzo told reporters Sunday.

Then on Sunday, Walton experimented with a rotation that had Lonzo Ball subbing out of the game earlier than usual.

Ball, who was up at 5 a.m. local time Saturday to watch his son Lonzo Ball in his first game back with the Lakers since suffering a sprained shoulder on December 23, expressed his frustration with Walton in an exclusive interview with ESPN.

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Whether the Lakers were inspired by what LaVar said about Walton or not, they came to play against the Hawks.

"I view the ESPN article as a disgrace, quite honestly", Carlisle said.

"I'm saying they should look at their sources and do a better job of determining if their sources have any merit or any validity or are they just blow-hard loud mouths", he said. He pulled his son, LaMelo, from his high school in Chino Hills prior to the start of the season because of problems with first-year coach Dennis Latimore.

"It was the kind of night that the Lakers envisioned when they drafted Lonzo Ball second overall this summer", the report on the team's official website read. "Gr8 teacher & role model / if u don't like a situation just QUIT take ball & blame everyone / @ LukeWalton has more CLASS & HOOPS knowledge on his pinkie than LaVar!" "Give him LeBron and Gelo". You can't get more championships. People don't know why they're in the game.

But LaVar Ball's latest remarks caught the eye of Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, the head of the NBA Coaches Association who scolded ESPN for giving Ball a platform.

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