Luke Walton handles LaVar Ball jab perfectly with press conference joke

Kyle Kuzma Lakers

Kyle Kuzma Lakers

LaVar Ball's comments on Walton overshadowed many other storylines in the same piece, including his prediction that LiAngelo Ball will play for the Lakers next season - and that LeBron James will leave Cleveland and join them.

Walton has taken the recent spat in stride, joking about Ball's comments after the Lakers' win on Sunday.

"Luke Walton is a terrific young coach bringing along a young team", Carlisle said, adding that ESPN, which he characterized as a television partner of the league, "should back up the coaches".

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LaVar Ball has consistently violated his pre-draft vow to Magic Johnson that he would not meddle with the team if they picked Lonzo, and that he was playing a character he could flip on and off like a light switch. "Printing an article where the father of an National Basketball Association player has an opinion - that is printed as anything like legitimate - erodes the trust that we've built with ESPN".

Brandon Ingram powered the Lakers' balanced offensive attack with 20 points to help Los Angeles snap a nine-game losing streak with a 132-113 victory against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night at Staples Center. "As long as Zo is fine with it and Zo can come in and play and it doesn't affect mine and his relationship, then it doesn't bother me at all".

Ball's father, Lavar, vented his criticism of Lakers coach Luke Walton leading up to the game, telling ESPN, "You can see they're not playing for Luke no more".

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ESPN following LaVar Ball all around the world?

Walton said before the game that some coaches have reached out to him after the comments. The assists are also a new season-high, just one game after setting a new personal-best on the glass. "I don't decide who the coach is".

"It doesn't bother me", Walton said. "Gr8 teacher & role model / if u don't like a situation just QUIT take ball & blame everyone / @ LukeWalton has more CLASS & HOOPS knowledge on his pinkie than LaVar!" You can't get more championships.

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The 30th overall pick fired a couple outlet passes, ran a smooth give-and-go with Ball, and got some buckets himself with a pair of rushes to the rim.

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