Struggling Lakers need LaVar Ball to shake things up
The Los Angeles Lakers need LaVar Ball, darn it, and the sooner the better.
Not to replace Luke Walton, assist Magic Johnson and outfit the team with Big Baller Brand gear. That would be slightly premature, even with the Lakers 2-5 heading into a matchup against the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night at Staples Center.
The Lakers need LaVar to shake things up.
The Lakers need LaVar to shake them up.
Like a double martini on the rocks.
After their last defeat, LeBron James suggested he’s running out of patience. Not fast enough, I fear. This requires immediate attention from someone who has a proven track record.
Last season, when the Lakers were 11-27 and had lost nine in a row, LaVar sounded off. He took aim at Luke Walton.
“You can see they’re not playing for Luke no more,’’ LaVar told ESPN. “Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him.”
“That’s a good team,’’ LaVar added. “Nobody wants to play for him. I can see it. No high-fives when they come out of the game. People don’t know why they’re in the game. He’s too young. He’s too young. … He ain’t connecting with them anymore. You can look at every player, he’s not connecting with not one player.”
While NBA coaches blasted LaVar and ESPN, something interesting happened.
The Lakers won eight of their next 10 games.
They went 24-20 from the day LaVar made those remarks until the end of the season.
LaVar’s biggest mistake: He waited too long, of course!
Initially, I was among people who feared LaVar would clash with LeBron this season. Now I’m concerned that LaVar won’t clash with anyone wearing purple and gold.
He might be too distracted while touring Europe with his all-star team from the Junior Basketball Association. Or, worse yet, muzzling himself because he fears he could inadvertently prompt the Lakers to trade his son Lonzo, the team’s starting point guard. But hopefully LaVar sees this as clearly as I do.
Lonzo, coming off his worst game this season, needs a jolt. He and his teammates need to shoot better from 3-point range and play better defense in the clutch.
They could use another big man, too. But more than that, they need a big mouth to roar. And there’s only one man for the job.
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