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Do you like playing for Luke Walton? Lonzo Ball: ‘I’ll play for anybody’


during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 20, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Christian Petersen

LaVar Ball said Luke Walton has lost control of the Lakers.

That put the coach under the microscope

It also put Lonzo Ball in the spotlight.

If all you value is publicity, that’s great. But the rookie point guard who’s still trying to adjust to the NBA faced some pointed questions.

Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times:

Lonzo was asked if he likes having Walton as his coach.

“I’ll play for anybody,” he said, and later added: “My job is to play basketball. I don’t decide who coaches.”

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. It’s how players sometimes sound when they dislike their coach.

It also might be how players sound when they’re caught between a coach they like and a father who just threw that coach under the bus. Hard to say, though. There isn’t much precedent for that.

If Lonzo sticks with this approach, it’s fine. Controlling what he can control is a virtue. But he must stick with it. Once he praises Walton or any other future coach, Lonzo can’t credibly maintain such apathy about his coach. It’ll read as implied criticism.