- The Los Angeles Lakers have remained silent since LaVar Ball said that players no longer want to play for head coach Luke Walton.
- According to one ESPN reporter, the silence is an indication that Walton doesn’t have full support from the team.
- The NBA world has reportedly been whispering about the Lakers replacing Walton with David Fizdale, one of LeBron James’ favorite coaches.
The Los Angeles Lakers have remained silent since LaVar Ball said head coach Luke Walton has lost the team, and that silence may be an indictment.
In an interview with ESPN, Ball, the father of Lakers rookie guard Lonzo, said the Lakers don’t want to play for Walton anymore.
While people around the NBA condemned Ball’s comments — and ESPN for covering them — there may be some truth to it, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Windhorst joined “The Rich Eisen Show” on Friday and said Ball revealed that the Lakers don’t fully support Walton.
“Whatever you want to say about LaVar Ball, he has smoked out the fact that the Lakers do not support Luke Walton,” Windhorst said. “And that is now crystal clear. And there are now guys out there wondering, openly to me, executives, coaching agents, ‘I wonder who the Lakers are going to hire as their next coach.’
“That has been revealed here, that they do not have unconditional support for Luke.”
Windhorst then gave a hint about who the Lakers could be targeting next if they let go of Walton.
“Who has LeBron tweeted about most recently?” Windhorst asked, before continuing, “Los Angeles native David Fizdale.”
James played under Fizdale with the Miami Heat. When Fizdale was fired as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies early in the 2017-18 NBA season, James tweeted: “I need some answers. Feels like my man was a fall guy.”
Windhorst said the Fizdale rumors could be just that, but that it’s a hot topic in NBA circles.
“I’ve got executives in my ear, I’ve got agents in my ear, saying, ‘Oh yeah, they’re probably gonna hire David Fizdale.’ And again, it may not be true, they may intend to keep Luke and David Fizdale may not even want the job … but by not speaking about [Ball’s comments], I think it’s festered. This is what’s created.”
Rumors have been circulating that James could target the Lakers in free agency this summer. While there haven’t been reports prior to now that the Lakers are actually unhappy with Walton, to some, the silence is deafening. If they plan to let go of Walton, perhaps they believe Fizdale would be a magnet for James.