The Los Angeles Lakers' front office reportedly met with the father of their no. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Lonzo Ball, per a report by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne with the intention of cutting some of the negative comments attributed to the older Ball with regards to the Lakers' starting the season 10-16.
Ball's father has been an outspoken figure and has only gained further prominence following the start of the Los Angeles Lakers' season, in part assisted by a Facebook video series. As far as parents go, Ball's father is one of the most high profile figures to enter the NBA news cycle after launching his own brand and even launching into a social media dispute with the president of the United States.
The point guard's father had a knack for making headlines with imaginative and often unbelievable quotes. One time, he said that he would have beaten Michael Jordan at one-on-one in basketball. Another time, the parent said his son was better than two-time NBA champions and former NBA MVP Stephen Curry.
However, Ball's father's quotes seemed to cross an imaginary line when Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton had to begin answering pregame questions about criticism leveled on him by the father of his point guard saying the second year coach did not understanding how to properly play his son at the end of games.
"It was the best thing, man," Ball's father confirmed the meeting with Shelburne. "Everybody's going to try to make it an ego thing, like I'm trying to tell them what to do or they're trying to tell me to tone it down. It's not about that. It's about coming together and to get a solution to this problem."
On the night the story broke, Ball's father and two siblings were watching the Lakers play the New York Knicks from courtside seats at Madison Square Garden, with Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson also in attendance in one of those exclusive floor level seats. According to ESPN, both Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka declined to comment regarding the meeting.
"Anyone that says anything about us, not just [Ball's father], but anyone, if you are not part of our group or circle, have whatever opinion you want," Walton said to ESPN on the topic following the game, expressing that the comments had no relevance to the job he was doing.
Judging by his loud personality and his consistent history, though, Ball's father is likely to continue providing eye-brow raising quotes as long as reporters continue putting microphones in front of his mouth. However, the message to be more positive may tone down targeting Walton and his staff directly or making comments about how his son is being mismanaged by the team. Or, Ball's father may continue saying whatever is on his mind, even if it conflicts with the organizations.
"I'm going to say whatever I want to say, however I want to say it," Ball's father also told ESPN before explaining the takeaway of the meeting. "And [the Lakers front office] said, '[Ball's father], come and talk to us first.' So that's fine too."
In more relevant news, Ball played 40 minutes in a 113-109 overtime loss to the Knicks on Tuesday and scored 17 points, including hitting three of his six three-pointers, and also filled up the box score with eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, one block and only one turnover.
In front of a national audience, the 20-year-old point guard played one of the most complete, impressive and mature games of his young NBA career.
The rookie continues to shoot at a markedly better rate away from Los Angeles. In 14 games at STAPLES Center, Ball is averaging 6.9 points on 26.6 percent shooting from the field and 16.7 percent shooting from three-point land. In the 12 non-LA based games, Ball is averaging 11.25 points on 39.2 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from beyond the three-point line.
Ball and the Lakers face a grueling stretch to wind down December, as their final nine games include five games against the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
With losing likely in Ball's immediate future, the father of the point guard may have his patience and self control tested in the coming weeks.