Luke Walton Rumors
Two weeks before the trade deadline, you joined me on The HoopsHype Podcast to discuss the rumors that had surfaced. But walk me through what that Thursday was like for you and how you found out that you were being dealt to the Cavaliers. Larry Nance Jr.: We were playing the Thunder that night. Well, the Lakers were playing the Thunder that night, so I was getting ready to head to shootaround. It was about 9:15 a.m. Like everyone else, I was following Woj (Adrian Wojnarowski) and had the tweet notifications set up just in case and just to find out what kind of stuff was happening. I had just woke up and I was going to wash my face, when I got the update that the Cavs and Lakers were in serious trade talks. I thought, “Oh? I don’t know who that could involve, but we’ll see.” Not even 30 seconds later, I got a call from [Lakers general manager] Rob Pelinka and Luke Walton and Magic Johnson were in his office with him. They all broke the news to me and told me that I was going to Cleveland. That’s how it happened.
But failure is not something LaVar Ball gives much oxygen to. If something isn’t going the way he wants it to, the Big Baller goes on blast. Lonzo was struggling with his shot, aggressiveness and confidence, and in LaVar’s mind, that was because Lakers coach Luke Walton wasn’t coaching him the right way. LaVar didn’t have a direct line of communication to Walton, and lobbying Johnson and Pelinka behind the scenes hadn’t resulted in what he’d wanted, so he started criticizing Walton in radio and television interviews. After a few rounds of cringe-worthy headlines, Johnson and Pelinka called him in for a meeting in late November and asked him to tone down his criticisms or, at the very least, come to them first.
Bill Oram: Luke Walton said Rob Pelinka reached out to the league today about the two technicals that earned Isaiah Thomas an ejection last night in New Orleans. IT said last night he believes they should be rescinded.
Tania Ganguli: Luke Walton was told that his dad said he’d failed as a father upon hearing Luke got ejected. Luke replied he also heard that from his dad when he got his first tattoo, expects it won’t be the last time.
Mike Trudell: Lonzo Ball won’t play until after the All-Star break. Luke Walton said he practiced today with some contact, and that he “looked good,” but since there was a “little bit of discomfort,” they’re going to hold him out this week.