LOS ANGELES – The Spurs played the Lakers in Los Angeles on Thursday night so naturally, San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich was asked about the recent drama with the Lakers and Lavar Ball, the outspoken father of rookie Lonzo Ball.
Popovich did not mince words when he was asked about Lavar Ball’s recent criticism of Lakers head coach Luke Walton.
“Whenever anyone says anything about another individual or about the quality of another individual or what they are doing, I think the first thing to look at is the substance and gravitas of the source that speaks. Just stopping at that point would tell you that you don't need to listen or go any further. It's just another fan in the peanut gallery with an opinion, which is meaningless.”
The Spurs head coach continued and defended Walton as a head coach. Ball had told ESPN that Walton has lost the Lakers locker room and players don’t want to play for him.
“Luke has been schooled in this game from the time he was a little kid. And he doesn't even know what he knows probably, just by osmosis, whether it was living at home, or in school as a player. He's had tremendous experience. And as a player, he wasn't the best athlete in the world, but those are the guys that sometimes understand the game better because it comes a little tougher to them. They understand what wins and loses, what they have to do to get an advantage and really understand the game, which he does. He inherently understands the game, and not everybody does. And then the icing on the cake, he gets to spend a few years up with Steve (Kerr) at Golden State with a great organization and a great group. So he's way more than ready to handle this situation."
Other NBA head coaches have spoken out against the platform ESPN has given Ball, who is in Lithuania with his other two sons, who made their professional basketball debut this earlier this week. Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said it was a disgrace that Ball’s recent comments were published.
Detroit head coach Stan Van Gundy said he would no longer give ESPN, one of the NBA’s television partners, extra access which include pre-game and in-game interviews.
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The Lakers improved to 14-27 after defeating the short-handed Spurs, 93-81.
“It's a situation that's gonna take time," Popovich said. "It's a process. And it certainly doesn't need any outside chatter from people who don't have a clue and haven't gotten over themselves."