Warriors

Warriors

When your team has lost nine games in a row and finds itself with the worst record in the Western Conference, you're going to face some heat. You might expect it from management or former players.

Unfortunately for Luke Walton, he has to hear about it from the father of the Lakers' top draft pick.

While in Lithuania with his two youngest sons, LaVar Ball sounded off about the Lakers head coach and former Warriors assistant coach.

"You can see they're not playing for Luke no more. Luke doesn't have control of the team no more. They don't want to play for him," Ball told ESPN on Sunday.

The 37-year-old Walton, in his second season as the Lakers head coach, has compile a 37-83 record entering Sunday's game against the Hawks.

"That's a good team. 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."

Walton was asked about Ball's comments at practice on Sunday.

"I’m fine with it. It doesn’t bother me. My only concern with any of it is for Zo," Walton said, brushing off the comments.

Lonzo Ball returned to the Lakers lineup on Friday after missing six games with a shoulder injury. His father wasn't happy with Walton's usage of the No. 2 overall pick against Charlotte.

 

"Lonzo looked good, but he also looked disgusted. He was ready to play. Four minutes left in the first quarter, he dunked it, getting in a flow and Coach sits him down. Sat him down. Now game goes from four points to 10 to 15 to 20. I don't know what they're doing. If he's ready to play, let him play. Don't try and monitor no minutes, put on restrictions," LaVar said.

As a rookie, Lonzo is averaging 10.1 points, 7.0 assists and 6.8 rebounds in 32 games, but he's shooting just 35.2 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from 3-point range.