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This has been out there a couple of days but the Los Angeles Lakers seem to have finally had enough of the father of rookie guard Lonzo Ball and the dad’s crying need to be the centre of attention.
The Lakers, getting tough with what they say is an existing policy, have decided media is no longer welcome in the friends and family section of the arena after games.
They have these areas in every gym in the league and it’s really quite informal. It can be good for us to some degree, to see friends, agents, others and develop relationships but it’s never been what I would consider a “work” area.
In that regard, the Lakers are taking away a nice, informal area where we can chat and maybe get some snippet to use in future so that’s a loss but, really, the thing about them doing it now is hardly surprising.
Look, there’s no way they’re going to stop the loudmouth father from talking, that’s an impossibility and as long as someone wants his opinion – for the life of me, I can’t imagine why – he’s going to offer it.
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But I can absolutely see the team’s point here.
Why make it easy for him? Why let him stand there and rip his kid’s teammates, his kid’s coaches, all within earshot of their friends and families in what’s normally a fun post-game area for saying hello. The Lakers have long said they don’t have issues with him talking, which is the right thing to say, but at some point you have to ask why they would enable it.
Check out the quotes in that story about the issue. Do you think the family of Julius Randle needs to see pops being interviewed ripping their kid while they’re standing or sitting there? No, of course not.
Now, I don’t care what the dad says to further his own agenda – he bores me to death and has for months – and I wondered how long it would take Lakers management to get tired of his incessant harping.
They can’t make him shut up – wouldn’t that be nice? – but they can make it slightly harder for him and they have.
So, good for them.
Now, I’m also not bothered by the fact so many of my colleagues seek this guy out, even though he’s done nothing of note except be a dad to a struggling NBA rookie.
It’s an easy story and you never know what the blowhard is going to say so sticking a microphone in his face basically guarantees you’ll get something worth writing or talking about. I do think I’d like him to be asked a few more difficult follow-up questions – the next time he says his kid is better than such-and-such a player, I’d love to hear him grilled on which metrics he’s using for some inane assessment – but other than that, I couldn’t possibly care less about what he says or thinks.
This makes sense with today’s flight, right?
Still in search of mail and with a quiet night and tomorrow planned, I might even get to some of it this evening.
So please drop on by firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can do.
It’s not going to make a lick of difference in the attendance because every ticket’s long been sold but you know what the MLS Cup needs?
Some more hype.
I know there’s been all kinds of coverage in the daily dispatches – She Who Supports Arsenal’s been working non-stop for days and here’s today’s offering – but I think the league should do more to help boost the profile of its marquee event.
The Sounders should have had to be here, say, Monday night to practice and do media every day; there should be some kind of big hoopla banquet tonight to announce some award winners or somesuch and the commissioner should do some major news conference tomorrow morning.
This should be a week of stuff, not just a couple of days and if the MLS wants to be taken seriously, I think it needs to do a bit more promotion of the championship game.
Again, the game is indeed the thing everyone should be concentrating on and they are but a little ancillary stuff would have been nice.
Little scheduling update.
I’m off to Memphis later on what I’m sure will be some tiny aeroplane and will have the usual stuff tomorrow from there for game day.
That’s after the five-minute walk up and down Beale Steet and a stop at the Blues Hall Juke Joint at the Rum Boogie Café and some catfish and barbecue for dinner.
But I’m ceding the rest of the trip to D. Feschuk so I can get a wee bit of a break with a terribly busy month ahead.
So he’ll catch up with them in Sacto and move on to L.A. and Phoenix while I come home to hopefully nothing.