- Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty
- The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly enforcing a rule that some are calling the “LaVar Ball rule.”
- The team is enforcing a current policy that prohibits media from interviewing players’ family, friends, and agents in a section of the stands.
- The news comes after Ball has been critical of the Lakers’ coaching of Lonzo.
The Los Angeles Lakers are increasing its efforts to enforce a media policy that prevents media from conducting interviews in a section that often has players’ family, friends, and agents, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
According to Haynes, some within the Lakers are calling it the “LaVar Ball rule.”
The policy is an existing one that is supposed to keep media from congregating in a section near the visiting team’s locker room tunnel where friends and family often sit. A team spokesman said it’s a “privacy” issue.
The timing, however, seems to be related to the media availability of LaVar Ball, father of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. LaVar, an outspoken business man and media personality, has at times been vocal in his criticism of the Lakers’ coaching. Haynes reported that rival front-office executives think the enforcement of the rule may be to keep LaVar from having a consistent media platform after games.
In November, LaVar said the Lakers are too “soft” on Lonzo, adding, “They don’t know how to coach my son.” After an overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors, LaVar questioned the Lakers’ play-calling and timeout usage.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton has been diplomatic in his responses to LaVar, saying: “I will say this: I think that he has done a phenomenal job as a father with Lonzo because Lonzo is a special young man; he’s selfless, he’s unselfish, his teammates love him and he cares about them and plays the game the right way. So he has done a great job with that. But we are not concerned with what parents think of how we are coaching the team.”
LaVar’s comments have come in what has been somewhat of a turbulent rookie season for Lonzo. While Lonzo has contributed in other areas of the game, he has struggled mightily with his shot, shooting just 31% from the field and 25% from three-point range. He has also faced extra-motivated players who have said they wanted to show up Lonzo because of LaVar’s outspoken ways.
LaVar, of course, will still do interviews in other ways, but the enforcement of the rule may be to quiet some of his critiques.