Skip Bayless on Lakers: ‘I don’t love the way Luke Walton has coached this team’

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Skip Bayless explains why he thinks there was truth in LaVar Ball's criticism of Luke Walton.

- So bottom line, what's LaVar going to do next? Pull Lonzo off the Lakers and take him to Lithuania? What? Seriously, is that we're heading with this?

And I got to, before I launch into the question Joy asked us, I got to get this off my chest. I have defended LaVar, sort of hung on and defended LaVar, because I love the fact that he has been a good father to these kids. Now, you can argue he's being too good a father to the kids.

But so many of these kids didn't have a father. I didn't have a father at home. A lot of people I know that didn't have a father. So I admired that part of it.

And I admired the fact that LaVar Ball had the guts to try to beat the sneaker establishment at its own game that it sort of owns. And yet, this Better Business-- as you said, the other BBB brand and the one that you can't mess around with.

SHANNON SHARPE: The original triple B.

- Yes, the Better Business Bureau. Now, we have the report that it has given LaVar's Big Baller Brand an F, a flat out-- at the worst it can give, because they've had 41 negative reviews, zero positive, and 33 formal complaints of customers who either didn't get their orders or got the wrong items in their orders.

That's just no go. Can't do it. You have to play the game the right way if you're going to beat the establishment at its own game, right?

SHANNON SHARPE: Correct, correct.

- And you did get--

SHANNON SHARPE: I did get the shoes.

- You got yours. But you're Shannon Sharpe. And a lot of Joe Smiths out there, I guess, get messed around. So it looks like LaVar is failing on the Better Business Bureau end of this deal. Right?

So now we get back to Joy's question. I slept on this. I did a Facebook Live about it last night. It just sort of tears my guts out, because you know and I know that I do love me some Lonzo Ball.

And the reason I love the kid is because he's the flip side of the father. He is unselfish to a fault. He seems to have high character, for all I can gather. We had him on the show once. And he always says and seems to do the right thing.


- And I still believe in him as a player, though I've said many, many, times-- too many times on this show-- where are you Lonzo? You seem unplugged to me. You seem like you're not into it on a nightly basis.

I don't see the energy. I don't see the engagement. I don't see the aggressiveness on a minute to minute basis. And I've wondered about it.

But I still defend him, because he's still averaging 10 points and seven rebounds and seven assists-- not what people expected, but still decent. He still ranks number one on this team in the defensive rating of individuals. He's number one. And he still leads this team in rebounds and, obviously, in assists. OK? So all those to I cling to, even though I can't say that he's been a big hit, because he has not been a big hit.

So is there always some truth in things that LaVar Ball says publicly? Yes, seriously. There's always some truth enough that makes him the lightning rod that he is, because he's willing to say or do what no one else will say or do.


- And he's not a complete fool. He's not. Because if he were a fool, we would have all dismissed him long ago and said, OK, that's enough of that. Right? But his son is the second pick in the draft, or was.

And I got to tell you, from my heart, I don't love the way Luke Walton has coached this team. I think this team is far better than its record. And it really struggled without Lonzo, because it lost six in a row. And it had lost nine in a row.

And I'll be honest. I don't love the way Luke Walton has handled Lonzo, because, from the start, he has been hard on Lonzo. But you could argue-- I'm open to arguing, hearing your side. He should have been hard on him, because he's been in a terrible shooting slump. And so he was yanking him quickly.

I don't know what this substitution pattern is. But mid first quarter, usually Lonzo is out. So he kind of breaks a sweat. And then he's on the bench. And he might be on the bench for a whole other quarter until the middle of the second quarter.

And six times this year, Luke Walton has set Lonzo Ball on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. Is that fair? Is that right to the number two pick in the draft, as he just barely has turned 20 years of age? Is that the right way to let him grow on a young team? Well, I think not.

So I don't like it. And I've said that several times. And obviously, the father really, really doesn't like it. So you know what just happened? The father just called for Luke Walton's job.

And we're not quite to halfway through Lonzo's rookie season, right? We're barely into January. We still got a long way to go. And he is calling for this coach's job.