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In relationships, many times there comes a time when a point of no return happens. In the case of Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers, the no return may be that of the second-year point guard, as his tenure with the Lakers may be running its course.
For the past season and a half, it was revealed by Ball’s father, LaVar, that the relationship between Lonzo and Lakers coach Luke Walton is beyond repair, to the point the elder Ball publicly drew a line in the proverbial sand, stating his son will not play for Walton beyond this season.
Those words reverberated across NBA circles as they were loudly spoken just hours before the impending trade deadline, in which Lonzo was expected to be a key piece to landing the services of Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
Whether LaVar’s comments soiled the trade or not, one thing that was left after the dust settled was that Lonzo remained a Laker, and Walton is still the coach — for now.
The dichotomy that exists now is the timeline of Lonzo’s return from the Grade 3 ankle sprain, suffered on Jan. 19 against the Houston Rockets. The initial reports had Ball slated to be out four-to-six weeks, which would have brought him back at the earliest right after the All-Star break.
With reports coming out recently that Ball has yet to resume any on-court activities, speculation now looms of whether or not Ball will indeed suit up again for the Lakers as long as Walton is still coaching — just as his father stated.
To get to the bottom of this, I did my due diligence and reached out to those closest to the Ball camp. The response I received was surprising, and yet telling as to what could possibly happen. That response? Silence.
That’s right. Not a word.
This could all be circumstance, but the mere fact LaVar has aspirations of his sons playing together on the same team, and reinforcing that by mentioning a preferred destination in the Phoenix Suns … the writing could very well be on the wall that an exodus from the Lakers is on the horizon.
One thing that is a certainty is that Lonzo and Walton can no longer exist. One party has to go, and whatever bridge that was standing before LaVar spoke out is now a bridge to nowhere, seemingly burned to the ground.
LaVar always has a plan, and if forcing the Lakers’ hand is part of it in terms of shipping Lonzo out of town, this could be the piece that makes it happen.
Your move, Magic.