Lakers Notes: Ball, Magic, Ennis, Russell

Lonzo Ball’s father has clarified comments that indicated his son wouldn’t play for any team but the Lakers, according to 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.
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12 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Ball, Magic, Ennis, Russell

  1. Franklin Ashley

    Lakers weren’t hampered by Kobes contract as there always was lots of cap left but no Free Agents were coming with an aging superstar and a bunch of rookies now we have visible leadership and a respected basketball mind, his input to players and coaches will get everyone on their game, predicting playoffs next season!

  2. JDonovan

    The press is having a field day with Lavar Bell. He is probably just a really proud dad (with a major lack of public speaking experience), that wants the best for his kid. I really doubt that he is as bad as the media makes him out to be. Just imagine how you’d look if every speaking gaffe or exaggeration you make on a daily basis was reported.

    • GuruGray

      It’s not like the media is just picking and choosing things that he says throughout the day. These are quotes that he has explicitly said to the media. We can’t just blame the media for everything

    • Formerlyz

      Have you ever seen this guy? He looks like he is a crazy person. I feel bad for his 3 kids. They probably know

    • On the one hand, I want to consider that he is just like any other dad is trying to hype up his kid and get him to play where he wants to. But his comments are going to negatively affect his sons. Maybe not in terms of draft positioning as there is little Lonzo, his dad, or anyone else in his camp can do about it, but in terms of perceived value. Cousins got a significantly smaller haul (and more importantly, will get a cheaper contract) than any person expected because of his attitude issues. While I don’t know if Lonzo has or will have the attitude issues that Cousins has, but some teams might be reluctant to sign Ball (obviously after he is drafted and is eligible for free agency or an extension) if his dad is making too much noise in the media.

    • ottomatic

      He said his college basketball player son was better right now than a perennial NBA MVP candidate and possibly the best shooter ever. That’s a pretty major “gaffe” and one that 99% of people would never come close to making even if all their speaking mistakes were reported. All grief he is getting is well deserved and completely self inflicted.

  3. Yamsi12

    Gonna be sad when Lonzo gets drafted and ends up fading away in the NBA.

  4. houseoflords44

    I wonder what Lavar Ball would say if the Lakers had the chance to draft Lonzo & didn’t. Now, that would be an interesting sound bite

  5. If Papa Bell isn’t that big of a problem, tell me why the coach at Chino Hills resigned after Lonzo’s senior year ane a winning program and his two younger brothers still there? I’m guessing four years of Papa Bell was probably enough!

  6. dust44

    Lonzo, Russell, Ingram would b fun to watch together. If Russell ever passed the ball.

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