After the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, they had to navigate through his father LaVar Ball’s comments.
Through it all during the 2017-18 NBA season, the most controversial statement came when Ball’s father claimed head coach Luke Walton had lost the team during their nine-game losing streak.
Since then, the eldest Ball has stayed relatively quiet until now. With LiAngelo Ball declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft and expected to work out for some teams including the Lakers, the 50-year-old was extremely critical of the team’s trainer, Gunnar Peterson.
Following Ball’s rookie season where he missed 30 games due to multiple injuries, his father did not hold back on Peterson’s workouts, according to Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype:
“My expectation for Lonzo is for him to be twice as good as he was this year, and to be more healthy,” LaVar told HoopsHype. “He understands, he went through it. If you’re going to be doing those [workouts with] rubber-bands like that dude Gunnar has him doing, that [is] bullsh*t training. That’s what I call it. Sh*t, he wasn’t like that when I brought him over there. When he first came [to the Lakers], he never got hurt. He was never hurt.”
Ball went into detail on how he trained his son before being drafted by the Lakers:
“Now, you’ve got these guys talking about, ‘Well, I’ve got this special workout for Lonzo…’ No! Lonzo’s gotta lift that pig iron, that real iron, and he’s gotta run some hills. That’s stuff they don’t have him doing,” LaVar said. “Some of these guys try to act like they’re the best trainers in the world because they trained some people with some God-danged names. But me? I ain’t worried about the names. I want to see your production! You have all these players coming through. Well, why are they getting hurt?”
In the first full season under president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka, the Lakers were extremely cautious with injuries. Through Ball’s injuries, Peterson recently detailed how they worked around it and his long-term message to all players.
Heading into Ball’s second season in Los Angeles, the focus is on transforming his body so he can stay relatively healthy. When the 20-year-old was on the court, he was extremely productive, averaging 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 7.2 assists in 34.2 minutes.
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