Warriors

NBA rumors: Lakers intervened to stop Lonzo Ball from unauthorized surgery

NBA rumors: Lakers intervened to stop Lonzo Ball from unauthorized surgery

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

The Lakers named Magic Johnson president of basketball operations in February 2017.

About four months later, the franchise selected Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Magic wanted to select De'Aaron Fox (who went to the Kings at No. 5 overall) but owner Jeannie Buss wanted Lonzo.

That tidbit is very interesting when you factor in what we learned on Friday afternoon, courtesy Shams Charania of The Athletic:

One of the headaches and near-debacles of the final stretch of Johnson’s tenure came in late February. In what could have been a catastrophe, the Lakers needed to prevent point guard Lonzo Ball from undergoing a potential unauthorized surgery on his left ankle that was planned by estranged former business partner Alan Foster and with LaVar Ball’s knowledge, multiple team and league sources told The Athletic.

The Lakers found out about Ball’s situation when Lonzo Ball called General Manager Rob Pelinka, and the organization informed him that they would not allow it and could void his contract, sources said. The Lakers then arranged transportation to bring Ball home, sources said ... Johnson and Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka communicated with those around Lonzo, working with his then-agent Harrison Gaines to squash the procedure and bring him back to Los Angeles, sources around the team with knowledge of the situation said.

Ball, meanwhile, has since shuffled those around him by hiring Creative Artists Agency to represent him. He filed a lawsuit against Foster alleging in excess of $2 million in damages.

This story is...

...not actually unbelievable because when it comes to LaVar Ball, crazy is normal.

Lonzo sustained a significant ankle sprain on Jan. 19 and missed the rest of the season.

Over his final 13 games, the 21-year old averaged 12.5 points, 7.2 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting over 37 percent from deep.

In his only appearance against the Warriors, he recorded six points, four assists and three rebounds in Los Angeles' Christmas Night win.

Lonzo will be playing for a new head coach next season, as the Lakers and Luke Walton mutually agreed to part ways on Friday.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Steve Kerr issues message to questioning Warriors fans about lineups

Steve Kerr issues message to questioning Warriors fans about lineups

Over Steve Kerr's first five seasons as head coach, the Warriors reached the NBA Finals every year and won three titles.

Despite the unprecedented success, certain corners of the fan base have been vocal (on Twitter mostly) in criticizing some of the eight-time NBA champion's rotations and/or five-man combinations.

Kerr was a guest Wednesday on "The TK Show" podcast with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, and addressed that topic during a conversation about "The Last Dance" documentary on the Chicago Bulls.

"Phil (Jackson) was the guy who was never afraid to play anyone in any situation," Kerr said. "So when Warriors fans are up in arms about the lineup that I throw out there, they should really blame Phil because that's where I learned it. (laughter)."

Now that's some funny stuff right there.

The franchise adopted the "Strength in Numbers" mantra the moment Kerr arrived in May 2014, and the Warriors' depth definitely played a part in the team's incredible success from 2015 to 2019.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Without diving too deep into it, Dub Nation certainly questioned some of Kerr's decisions in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. But we will leave it at that.

As for Kerr's philosophy, this is what he said back in early May:

[RELATED: Why Kerr calls '14 Dubs memory one of best feelings of life]

The 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year absolutely is right about this. That dynamic is very powerful and helps build a strong culture.

No coach is perfect. In the end, Warriors fans should trust Kerr's judgment and decision making.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Warriors GM Bob Myers issues statement on 2019-20 NBA season ending

Warriors GM Bob Myers issues statement on 2019-20 NBA season ending

The Warriors' 2019-20 season officially ended Thursday morning.

Golden State general manager Bob Myers issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

“We all recognize that there are much more important and pressing issues in our world right now that need to be addressed and corrected. Basketball is secondary at this point. Nonetheless, it is helpful to have a definitive resolution to our season.

"We can now focus our efforts on preparing for the 2020-21 season and, ideally, putting ourselves in position to be a very successful team. In many respects, despite our won-loss record, we had a productive season this year.

"Our rookies gained valuable experience, several of our young veterans showed marked improvement, our injured players progressed in their rehab, and our culture remained strong.”

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Warriors finished with the worst record in the NBA at 15-50, which guarantees them a top-five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft (now scheduled for Oct. 15).

The 2020 NBA Draft Lottery -- which will take place Aug. 25 -- will determine their exact position.

[RELATED: What we learned from Warriors' disappointing 2019-20 season]

After five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, the Dubs will be looking to get back to the top of the mountain after falling hard to the bottom.

"A lot of people saying we can’t win without KD — like we didn’t win without KD already," Draymond Green said on the "All the Smoke" podcast back in April. "Is it gonna be as easy? F--k no. Kevin’s great.

"But with them two guys (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson) I’ve been rolling with ... it can get done. And we gonna get it done.”

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]