Pacific Notes: Walton, Caldwell-Pope, West, Williams

The Lakers mishandled the latest controversy involving LaVar Ball, writes Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. The outspoken father of rookie Lonzo Ball said over the weekend that coach Luke Walton has lost control of the team and that players no longer enjoy playing for him.

The comments drew a harsh reaction from other coaches such as the Mavericks’ Rick Carlisle, the Pistons’ Stan Van Gundy and the Warriors’ Steve Kerr, but Bontemps says Lakers management failed to speak out swiftly to defend Walton.

GM Rob Pelinka turned down two requests to talk to reporters at Sunday’s game, then team president Magic Johnson did the same at Monday’s practice. Bontemps notes this would have been a perfect opportunity to support Walton and send a message to LaVar Ball, but the team leaders remained silent.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is ready to move on after completing a 25-day jail sentence, relays Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Caldwell-Pope was released for games and practices, but wasn’t permitted to leave California for road trips. “Paid my debts and all,” he said. “… Everything is done. Put that behind me. Moving forward, finish my season. Just happy to be home. Just a minor setback for me, [but there’s a] lot of things I gotta change. Lotta things I gotta improve on. Had a lot of time to think about it.”
  • Warriors forward David West heard a lot of second guessing when he turned down a $12.6MM option with the Pacers in 2015, but he tells Chris Hayes of ESPN he doesn’t think he would still be playing without that decision. He signed a $1.4MM contract with the Spurs that year and has taken similar deals with the Warriors the past two seasons. “I would have retired, man,” West said. “That would have been it, because I wanted to compete for a championship. I needed to experience that. So, if I played out my contract there, that would have been it. I was walking away. I wanted to feel like I was playing for something.”
  • After hitting a game-winning shot Monday, Clippers guard C.J. Williams has another important occasion coming up, notes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Playing on a two-way contract, Williams has used 40 of his 45 allowable days in the NBA. Injuries have forced Williams into the rotation, as he has started 12 games and is averaging nearly 20 minutes per night. To keep him, the Clippers will have to sign him to a regular contract or a 10-day deal by the end of the week. “We’re going to start a ‘GoFundMe Fund’ for C.J.,” coach Doc Rivers joked after the game. “We need some donations.”
newest oldest

26 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Walton, Caldwell-Pope, West, Williams

    • Z-A

      What team wants Him and Lavar? I mean I would do… Knicks 1st, and Frank for Ball… perfect media storm for the Knicks. Maybe add parts to dump salary too.

    • aarongill

      LOL. You must’ve never watched Lonzo. He’s already a great passer, good rebounder for a guard AND a good defender. His shooting is on the rise, in December and January he’s shot 43% from the field and 37% from three, obviously still needs improvement by he’s good and will only get better. Teams would be running to call the Lakers for Lonzo even with LaVar

      • Thomas Swanson

        The Lakers could offer Lonzo and Ingram to the Celtics to get their draft pick back.

    • grabarkewitz

      Lonzo is the last guy they need to move. He is not the problem and Lavar Ball should be treated like any Little League parent and be ignored. The problem is that only three guys know they will be part of this going forward – Ingram, Kuzma and Ball. Everyone else is probably on the way out over the next five to six months. Kind of hard to build any kind of teamwork when you are a short-timer.

      • Thomas Swanson

        Everything is contingent on signing LeBron, George, or Cousins, which isn’t likely. No one is talking about plan B. do they intend to resign Lopez, Caldwell-Pope, or Randle to 1 year contracts? They’ve tried to trade Clarkson for 3 years and can’t. A buyout is their only option for Luol Deng!

        • Thomas Swanson

          Cousins likes New Orleans, he came from Alabama.
          LeBron wants to retire in Cleveland. It’s where he came from. George likes Melo and Westbrook.

    • sleepyfloyd

      You don’t move a 1st rd pick during his first season. You should know that before making the comment. Just sounds naive

  1. Z-A

    West would have signed with the Warriors the same year he did, but be 11M richer. Bc Spurs had no shot the year he was there. Simple as that, Cavs or Warriors… Celtics and Spurs are on the outside looking in, Cs in a much better situation tho.

      • liamsfg

        He’s saying that he could have stayed in IND instead of going to SA and got paid before going to GSW.

        It makes sense on paper, but like he said, he would have retired after 2015 if that were the case.

        Playing for the Spurs likely kept him motivated and gave him the drive to keep going for the ring.

        • Thomas Swanson

          West played in Eastern Conference Finals against Miami two years in a row with the Pacers.. The Pacers were getting rid of Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert and splitting up.
          West had no option but to sign for minimum with San Antonio or Golden State. West saw what San Antonio did to the Heat in the Finals. I’m sure that had something to do with him going there.

  2. smittybanton

    Lakers did exactly the right thing. Bontemps wants Lavar Ball to continue being a story he can write about. Just like ESPN.

  3. RockHard

    No one wants to talk about Caldwell-Pope? I can’t believe the Lakers are taking him back and I’m doubly surprised the NBA hasn’t handed him a long suspension..Crazy the dude can’t even take roads trips out of the state but can suit up in an NBA Jersey..

  4. liamsfg

    They should ignore Lavar as much as possible.

    If I were in the Lakers front office and media asked me about Lavar’s comments I would tell them never to ask me about him again.

    I would say that I don’t need to defend my guys from everything Lavar says. Serious questions only.

    Thats just the nice way of saying “shut up media, get a real story.”

  5. Thomas Swanson

    Steve Kerr got it right. ESPN is laying off good reporters with good stories to cover a non-story in Lithuania.
    Stan VanGundy is doing it right. Says when Pistons play on ESPN on January 19, he’s not doing interviews.
    Bill Bellicheck does it best. He doesn’t answer what he doesn’t think needs to be answered.
    If I traded Lonzo, it would be to someone like the Hawks. I’d put in his next contract clauses to prevent LaVar from trying to make headlines and ruining his son’s lives.

    • Thomas Swanson

      Company that made shirts and hats for LaVar is suiing for lack of payment, they tried 7 times. Awesome!!! Let’s see if LaVar can beat the court system.
      Better Business Bureau gives BBB an “F.” Of course LaVar blames it on everyone else.
      LaVar wants to start a new league paying players from BBB. Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

      • Thomas Swanson

        LaVar wanted Melo’s coach out. He wanted Steve Alford out. He wants Luke Walton out (He coached the boys AAU team, I suppose he thinks he should be coach). He says Lonzo, LiAngelo, LeBron, Ingram, and Kuzma would make a good team. None of this will happen. LaVar is a “fraud.”

        • Thomas Swanson

          How about ESPN putting money where their mouth is and take bets on LiAngelo and LaMelo being drafted by and playing for the Lakers! I’ll bet on that one!

Leave a Reply