DALLAS - Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle blasted LaVar Ball and ESPN for the network’s publishing of Ball’s comments about Lakers head coach Luke Walton.
Ball, the head of Big Baller Brand and father of Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball, told ESPN Walton had lost control of his team and that players “don’t want to play for him.” Los Angeles had lost nine straight before a win Sunday.
Carlisle, who serves as the head of the NBA Coaches Association, called the publishing of the remarks a “disgrace.”
"As president of the coaches association, I view the recent ESPN article as a disgrace, quite honestly," Carlisle said before Sunday's game. "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, just ask me. We're going through that now and went through that last year."
Carlisle said ESPN is a partner to the league, “and a great one,” but noted that coaches play a big role in granting the network access.
"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 like legitimate erodes trust.” Carlisle said. “It erodes the trust that we've built with ESPN, and our coaches are upset because Luke Walton does not deserve that.
“To have to deal with these kinds of ignorant distractions is deplorable."
He was asked to clarify whether his comments insinuated that ESPN should only publish articles coaches will approve of -- an obvious journalistic no-no. He didn’t mince words when shooting down that notion.
"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,” he said. “Or are they just blowhard loudmouths?"
According to ESPN, the NBA Coaches Association released a statement late Sunday stating: "The article attacked Coach Walton on the basis of one person's unsubstantiated opinion. The story failed to provide quotes or perspectives from any players, or from Lakers management, either named or unnamed, verifying the claims made in the story."
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