Lakers' Walton: Lonzo Ball's workout closed to LaVar, but Dad is welcome for dinner
Workout will be private for Lonzo Ball and the Lakers, who are mulling the UCLA guard at No. 2 overall
Lonzo Ball's workout for the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday will be closed to everyone, including his father LaVar, coach Luke Walton told Jim Rome on Tuesday.
LaVar Ball has been outspoken since his son burst on the scene during his one season at UCLA and during the NBA Draft process, grabbing headlines for everything from his handling of his son's approach to the endorsement process and eventual signature shoe release by the family-owned company.
LaVar Ball is viewed by many as a distraction for his son, who's expected to be a top-five pick in the June 22 draft. But Walton says he's still welcome for dinner even though he's not allowed for the workout, although Walton isn't expecting LaVar Ball to attend either function.
"Absolutely. If he wanted to come to the dinner," Walton said. "I think the workout is something that we'll keep the doors closed on, but the dinner, I think he would definitely make the dinner more entertaining. He's definitely welcome to join us for that one."
If the Lakers view LaVar Ball as a problem, they aren't showing their concern. While much has of LaVar Ball's outlandish behavior, Walton says he can relate to having an outspoken father (his father, Bill, is an exuberant commentator), and any outside influences won't distract them from any player who fits their needs best with the No. 2 overall pick.
"No, I wouldn't [be concerned about LaVar's opinionated nature]," Walton said. "We're in the NBA, to me that's not an issue. Parents are always gonna have their opinions. They're gonna be outspoken at times. ... I have a very outspoken father myself. It doesn't bother me. If we were to draft him, we're gonna coach him. He's gonna be part of our team. He's gonna be part of our family. And we'll go from there. This is the NBA. We'll keep the team where it needs to be. We'll not let outside things like that influence us on whether or not we pick the kid."
Lonzo Ball led the nation in assists (7.6 per game) and averaged 14.6 points at UCLA, which was No. 1 in adjusted offensive efficiency much of last season.
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