Dallas Mavericks head coach and NBA Coaches Association president Rick Carlisle was not pleased with ESPN's publication of a story that centered around LaVar Ball saying Luke Walton has has lost the Lakers locker room.
ESPN published an article with quotes from LaVar Ball telling reporter Jeff Goodman that Walton no longer has control of the team and players do not want to play for him. Walton and Lonzo Ball denied the report after the Lakers dropped their ninth-straight game.
"As President of the Coaches Association, I view the recent ESPN article as a disgrace quite honestly," Carlisle said. "Luke Walton is a terrific young coach who is bringing along a young team. It's a difficult task and if you don't believe it then just as me. We're going through that now. We went through it last year. ESPN is an NBA partner and they've been a great one. Part of that partnership is – the coaches do a lot of things to help them with access, interview and all those kinds of things. In exchange for that, they should back up the coaches. Printing an article where the father of an NBA player has an opinion, that's printed as anything that's legitimate, erodes trust. It erodes the trust that we've built with ESPN. Our coaches are upset because Luke Walton does not deserve that. Two years ago, he took a veteran team and led them to 24 wins in a row, which is an amazing accomplishment. Off of that, he earned that Laker job. To have to deal to deal with these kind of ignorant distractions is deplorable."
He clarified what he meant by ESPN's role in backing up the coaches meant.
"They should look at their sources and do a better job and determining whether they have any merit and validity or are they just blowhard loudmouths," Carlisle said.
Watch his full comments below:
In response to Ball's comments, Walton told reporters that he did not feel that his job was in jeopardy.
"We're, I feel, very secure in my job status right now," Walton told reporters. "We talk all the time. They're 100 percent behind and supporting what we're doing."
Earlier this season, the Lakers sat down with LaVar Ball and asked him to tone down his public comments and criticism of Walton.