Mar 4, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lavar Ball, father of UCLA Bruins guard Lonzo Ball (2), looks on in the stands before the game between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington State Cougars at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

LaVar Ball is everywhere. Whether it’s on Facebook, TV, or appearing at Los Angeles Lakers games, Ball is ensuring he’s seen and heard. But the Lakers are trying to silence Ball at Staples Center going forward, enforcing what is being called the “LaVar Ball rule” to prevent the media from talking to Ball.

ESPN discussed some of the particulars regarding the rule.

In what many employees at Staples Center view as the “LaVar Ball rule,” this season the Los Angeles Lakers are enforcing “an existing policy” that no longer allows members of the media to congregate in a section of the arena among family and associates of players after games.

Family, friends and agents wait for players in the seats behind the basket closest to the visiting team’s locker room at the conclusion of games. Interviews conducted in that designated area and near the tunnel leading to the arena corridors are now forbidden.

Chris Hayes says that before this season, reporters were able to access the area that is now being restricted to them.

In prior years, media socialized and, at times, interviewed individuals in that sector without interference. If a media member is recognized in that area now, arena security or Laker staffers direct that he or she leave the area.

A Lakers spokesman said this is not a new policy, but an existing one. Because there is more of a media presence than in previous seasons, the Lakers are now keeping the media away from the guests and family of players.

In addition, after LaVar did an on-court interview on opening night following a loss to the Clippers, he hasn’t done one since because the NBA only allows credentialed individuals to access the court.

Ball has been widely critical of Lakers coach Luke Walton for not being tougher on his son. And last week after the Lakers lost in OT to Golden State, LaVar told ESPN that Julius Randle should have passed to his son on a fast break for a possible game-winning basket and once again criticized Walton’s decision-making.

As long as Lonzo is with the Lakers, LaVar is going to be at games and the media will gravitate to the elder Ball seeking comments. The Lakers are publicly saying they do not have a problem with Ball’s comments, but he’s getting nearly as much coverage as the team itself.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.