It seems like everyone is mad at LaVar Ball these days. Last week the outspoken father of Lonzo Ball got a shit ton of blow back from NBA coaches when he bashed Lakers head coach Luke Walton in an interview with ESPN.
First, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle went on record blasting ESPN for giving Ball an outlet to speak his mind. Now, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy is following suit and is threatening to not give in-game interviews with ESPN if they continue to speak to LaVar Ball.
“I thought it was a cheap shot and I thought ESPN showed total disrespect,” Van Gundy said Monday at Smoothie King Center, where the Pistons will face the New Orleans Pelicans later in the day.
“I don’t have a problem with LaVar Ball. He’s a grown man. He can voice whatever opinion he wants. I got a problem with ESPN deciding that’s a story.”
In the e-mail, Van Gundy threatened non-cooperation when it comes to the extra access given to TV. ESPN will televise the Jan. 19 matchup with the Pistons and Washington Wizards.
“I’m not meeting with their announcing crew before the game, I’m not doing the in-game interview,” Van Gundy said. “I’m not going to participate in the thing.”
When pressed if it means he’s threatening to withhold access, Van Gundy said: “I’m not denying them access. I’m not kicking them out of press conferences. They want extra stuff from us and they’re going to treat an NBA coach with that little respect? Then I’m going to choose not to give them extra access”
It’s pretty absurd that coaches from other teams are trying to control what’s happening between the Lakers and LaVar Ball. Luke Walton needs to step up and tell Rick Carlisle and Stan Van Gundy to fall back because they’re making him look weak.