Lonzo Ball’s father has clarified comments that indicated his son wouldn’t play for any team but the Lakers, according to ESPN.com. LaVar Ball said Saturday in a radio interview that he wants Lonzo to be drafted by L.A. and would discourage other teams from taking him. But he toned down those remarks in a later interview. “All I said was that my boy is going to play for the Lakers, and I’m going to speak it into existence,” LaVar Ball told ESPN Saturday night. “I want him to be a Laker, but I wasn’t saying he’s only going to play for the Lakers.” Lonzo Ball is a star guard at UCLA and is projected to be one of the first players drafted. The Lakers are currently third in our Reverse Standings, but their pick will be conveyed to the Sixers if they drop out of the top three.
There’s more today from Los Angeles:
- The Lakers needed the fresh start they got by putting Magic Johnson in charge of the organization, contends Bill Heisler of The Orange County Register. He says there is plenty of shared blame for the team’s sorry state, including deceased former owner Jerry Buss, who hired Mike D’Antoni as coach in 2013 instead of Phil Jackson; Jim Buss, who hired Mike Brown as coach; Jeanie Buss, who gave Kobe Bryant a $55MM extension for his final two seasons; and former GM Mitch Kupchak, who handed out huge free agent deals to Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng last summer.
- The Lakers are the latest team to give an opportunity to former first-round pick Tyler Ennis, writes Joey Kaufman of The Orange County Register. L.A. acquired the 22-year-old point guard Thursday in a deal with Houston, where he had only seen 6.3 minutes per night in 31 games. It marked the third time Ennis has been traded since being drafted by the Suns in 2014. “It’s too early right now,” coach Luke Walton said when asked about Ennis’ role in L.A. “We definitely want to get him out there and give him some opportunities and some chances.” Playing time may open up for Ennis if the Lakers go through with a rumored buyout with veteran point guard Jose Calderon.
- With Johnson taking over the front office and Rob Pelinka hired as the new general manager, there’s a fresh sense of urgency surrounding the organization, according to Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. D’Angelo Russell described the feeling as like coming to a new team.