The Lakers are going to enforce the “LaVar Ball Rule,” according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, which prohibits media members from the area of the arena that holds family and friends of players after games at Staples Center.
The rule forbids media members from being in the area of the arena under the basket near the visiting locker room — which is where associates of athletes wait for them.
The rule is being enforced after a series of interviews where Ball criticized the Lakers coaching staff and players. including one in which he criticized the head coach Luke Walton for not handling his son Lonzo “the right way.”
“Go get the W. Do whatever it takes. That’s why I’m down here saying, ‘Rebound,'” Ball said in mid-November. “He’s been away from me too long. I see tendencies in his game — they’re trying to baby him a little bit. … What I mean by babying, ‘He’ll figure it out.’ It ain’t about that. ‘Be patient with him?’ Ain’t no patience if you’re winning.”
Walton responded by saying, “I will say this: I think that he has done a phenomenal job as a father with Lonzo because Lonzo is a special young man; he’s selfless, he’s unselfish, his teammates love him and he cares about them and plays the game the right way. So he has done a great job with that. But we are not concerned with what parents think of how we are coaching the team. We are contented with the team and what is best for the team and how we can continue to get better.”
On the new-not-new rule, a Lakers spokesman said to ESPN: “It’s not a new policy; it’s an existing policy. There has been more media presence in that area than before. That section is strictly for family and guests of players. It’s a privacy concern.”
They can call it a privacy concern if they wish, but the Lakers are clearly tired of LaVar running his mouth after home games, along with a media that is more than willing to give him a platform as he makes critical comments about the team.
The media had previously been allowed to socialize and interview individuals in that section without interference. If a media member is recognized in that area now, arena security or Laker staffers will direct them to leave.