The Los Angeles Lakers apparently are eager to somehow, some way, lessen the amount of interview contact between LaVar Ball -- doting father to rookie point guard Lonzo Ball -- and the media that cover the team.
The organization have increased enforcement of a postgame policy that prohibits media members from entering an area at the arena reserved for players’ family and friends. According to Chris Haynes, who cover the Lakers for ESPN.com, the team is stiffening “what many employees at Staples Center view as ‘the LaVar Ball rule.’ ”
Family, friends and agents wait for players in the seats behind the basket closest to the visiting team's locker room at the conclusion of games. Interviews conducted in that designated area and near the tunnel leading to the arena corridors are now forbidden.
In prior years, media socialized and, at times, interviewed individuals in that sector without interference. If a media member is recognized in that area now, arena security or Laker staffers direct that he or she leave the area.
LaVar Ball, the father of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, is also not permitted to do interviews on the court, something he did on opening night after the LA Clippers defeated the Lakers 108-92. The league's rule is that an individual must be credentialed in order to enter onto the court. LaVar Ball hasn't done an on-court interview since.
On Wednesday following a 127-123 loss in overtime to the Golden State Warriors, in a postgame interview with ESPN, LaVar Ball said Julius Randle should have passed the ball ahead to his son in transition for a potential game-winner and he questioned [coach Luke] Walton's decision to call a timeout.
"I'll tell you the crucial point. When Julius [Randle] got that ball at the end, he should have thrown it forward. Lonzo had a wide-open layup. Or 3-pointer. That's game. It wouldn't have gone to overtime. That was game,” the rookie’s father said.
While many throughout the NBA have called for reporters and camera operators to stop giving LaVar Ball his unusual platform, some in the media believe his strong opinions are worth covering. However, cordoning off an area where he and others can’t be approached by the media wouldn’t seem to guarantee he won’t simply go where reporters are.