Rick Carlisle fires back against LaVar Ball's comments

US basketball player La Melo Ball Li Angelo Ball and their father La Var Ball attend a press conference in Prienai Lithuania where they will play for the Vytautas club

LaVar Ball says Luke Walton has lost control of Lakers: 'They don't want to play for him'

And in the process, the Lakers (12-27) backed up Luke Walton's and rookie point guard Lonzo Ball's statements that the coach hasn't lost the locker room as Ball's father asserted to ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

Carlisle argued that the story that quoted LaVar Ball was "deplorable".

Being that Walton is a former assistant on the Warriors staff and someone Kerr considers friend, he chose to stand up for his pal but ended up throwing LaVar Ball under the bus in the process.

LaVar has gone from amusing to controversial to annoying to - in some people's minds, at least - revolting in one year flat.

"We always say it, it is us against everybody", Ball said of how the team has tried sticking together during the free fall.

The circus that surrounds LaVar Ball has moved past Westwood and into, of all places, Lithuania, where Ball organized a plan for his two youngest sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, to play hoops professionally oversees. That sells, and that's what's true in politics, entertainment and now in sports. It doesn't matter if there's any substance involved in an issue. It's just, can we make it interesting for no apparent reason? There is nothing interesting about that story.

As the organization commits to a core of Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, the other promising young players in whom they have invested so much have become extraneous, especially if their salaries will cut into the Lakers' ability to sign one or more max-contract free agents.

The story drew criticism from some, including Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, who called it a "disgrace." .

"Those of us in the sport believe that NBA basketball is the greatest sport in the world, " Carlisle told me. They laid off, I don't know, 100 people.

"This is not an ESPN judgement, it's a societal thing more than anything", Kerr said. "We're going to trade your son from the Lakers, '" Miller said of what he'd do if he were Johnson. It's not even news really, it's just complete nonsense. And what happened in the Summer League as you always point out, a lot of people are playing out there who aren't even going to play in the National Basketball Association.

Ball has turned himself into the center of attention at each level of his sons' development.

LaVar Ball is not the first member of a pro athlete's family who made news by criticizing a coach.

"He, in my opinion, is one of the best bigs in our league at switching and guarding every position on the floor, one through five", Walton said. He shouldn't have to deal with this. High school and AAU coaches got nowhere.

It's hard writing about America's most infamous sports dad, because giving him publicity feels like defeat. "You know how many parents of my players that have probably been at home wondering, 'Why isn't he playing my kid?'" Kerr said. I don't know how cares, but people care. This is not a condemnation of ESPN, it's not.

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