Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Lakers got to end their nine-game losing streak Sunday night by treating the Hawks like the punching bags they are, but the longer-term and more important story in Los Angeles is the Ball family’s undermining of head coach Luke Walton. First, during the losing streak, LaVar said from all the way in Lithuiania that Walton had lost the team, and then, Lonzo followed it up by giving the least enthusiastic quotes possible about his coach.

Naturally, Walton was asked about this on Sunday afternoon, and he was pretty diplomatic and opaque. But after the game, while fielding a question about an early first-quarter rest for Lonzo, he took the chance to crack a joke.

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“His dad was talking shit, so I took him out early,” Walton said, keeping a straight face for a couple of seconds before adding a “just kidding.”

Ball played a team-high 30 minutes and got his typical all-around strong statline of 13 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists, so playing time is clearly a non-issue. Still, this is now one extra thing for Walton to worry about, since apparently no coach other than LaVar himself is satisfactory for the Ball patriarch. At least Walton has the right attitude about it.