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Head of NBA Coaches Association Rick Carlisle calls ESPN article on Lavar Ball “a disgrace”

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Carlisle did not mince words about Lavar Ball’s quotes saying the Lakers won’t play for Luke Walton.

Chicago at Dallas Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images

Rick Carlilse was heated after a recently published ESPN article quoted Lavar Ball as saying, “You can see they’re not playing for Luke [Walton] no more.”

Before the Mavericks vs. New York Knicks game on Sunday night Carlisle was giving his usual presser to the media and this topic in particular caught not just his attention, but his vitriol. The author of the aforementioned article, Jeff Goodman, is currently stalking covering the other Ball brothers (LiAngelo and LaMelo) as they begin their pro-careers in Lithuania. Goodman also quotes Lavar Ball as saying:

“That’s a good team,” he added of the Lakers, who have lost nine straight games. “Nobody wants to play for him. I can see it. No high-fives when they come out of the game. People don’t know why they’re in the game. He’s too young. He’s too young. ... He ain’t connecting with them anymore. You can look at every player, he’s not connecting with not one player.”

Carlisle responded to the question about the article in as frank a manner as anyone could.

As president of the Coaches Association, I view the recent ESPN article as a disgrace. Quite honestly. Luke Walton is a terrific young coach who is bringing along a young team and it’s a difficult task. If you don’t believe it ask me, we’re going through that now and we were going through it last year.

In his capacity as President of the Coaches Association, it’s appropriate that Carlisle would defend Luke Walton. Carlisle continued his response and directed the majority of his distaste towards ESPN.

ESPN is a partner, an NBA partner and they’ve been a great one. But part of that partnership is that...the coaches do a lot of things to help them with access, interviews, all those kinds of things. And in exchange for that they should back up the coaches. Printing an article where the father of an NBA player has an opinion that is printed as anything legitimate erodes trust.

In journalism there’s always a little give and take between journalist and subject, but Carlisle seems to believe that articles like Goodman’s take incrementally more than they give.

It erodes the trust that we built with ESPN and our coaches are upset, because Luke Walton does not deserve that. Two years ago he took a veteran team and led them to 24 wins in a row. That is an amazing accomplishment. Off of that, he earned the Laker job. To have to deal with these kind of ignorant distractions is deplorable.

As soon as Carlisle finished his comments, ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon started to question Carlisle’s statements, but was quickly interrupted.

MacMahon: Are you saying that ESPN should...”

Carlisle: “You got my quote.”

MacMahon: “...to determine what news to run based on what coaches will like?

Carlisle: “No, I’m saying that they should look at their sources and do a better job of determining whether they have any merit or any validity. Or are they just blowhard loud-mouths.”

The Mavericks play the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday January 13th at 2:00 PM at AAC.