The San Antonio Spurs get to face the Los Angeles Lakers on the national TV stage amidst the LaVar Ball drama.
The San Antonio Spurs notoriously avoided drama in head coach Gregg Popovich’s term. The closest was LaMarcus Aldridge’s almost-departure last summer, when he had frustrations with the past two years. Given everything that’s happened for the past two decades in the NBA, that may seem like nothing, right?
Well, on Thursday night, the Spurs will step into the Staples Center to get their first look at Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s merely a subplot to a bigger story, one the Silver and Black do not have a role in — LaVar Ball, the father of Lonzo.
Since the start of the season, identical to the one year at UCLA, LaVar has kept up his never-ending antics. He draws media attention to his boisterous comments, the latest of which surrounded Lakers head coach Luke Walton. The eldest Ball said the team “does not want to play for him.”
From there, a media storm ensued. Rookie Kyle Kuzma defended his coach, while Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle tore into ESPN for its interview of LaVar. Even Walton himself tried to make a joke out of it. That’s all while the youngest Ball’s, LiAngelo and LaMelo, made their professional basketball debuts in Lithuania.
It’s a circus around this family, one the Spurs will walk into and likely hear about on Thursday, given how fresh this “news” is. With national television exposure of TNT, it’s arguably a guarantee to be discussed, at least on the broadcast.
Will Popovich be asked about this? If so, could we get one of those classic responses, where he scoffs at the reporter and walks away? It’s a non-issue for San Antonio, so don’t expect them to provide attention.
The Spurs and Lakers will go head-to-head on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 10:30 p.m. ET.