Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, who is also the president of the NBA’s Coaches Association, is fed up with ESPN giving crazy sports dad LaVar Ball so much space to express himself. Everyone is tired of LaVar Ball because he’s annoying and stupid, but Carlisle’s reasons for being angry are not good.
Before Sunday’s game against the Knicks, Carlisle was mad about Ball going to ESPN and claiming that Lakers coach Luke Walton had lost his team. Walton and the Lakers having to answer questions about a rookie point guard’s dad talking shit is not ideal, and the world would definitely be better off if LaVar Ball had fewer microphones in his face; still, Carlisle is way off-base when he says this (via ESPN):
Carlisle, who worked as an ESPN analyst while between coaching jobs during the 2007-08 season, referred to ESPN as a partner of the league and mentioned that coaches grant the network access and interviews because of that partnership.
“In exchange for that, they should back up the coaches,” Carlisle said. “Printing an article where the father of an NBA player has an opinion that is printed as anything like legitimate erodes trust. It erodes the trust that we’ve built with ESPN, and our coaches are upset because Luke Walton does not deserve that.
The fact that ESPN has a broadcast partnership with the league should have no bearing on how the company conducts itself as a journalistic entity, and ESPN’s reporters certainly shouldn’t be altering their coverage just because it makes coaches mad. Get out of here with this, Rick—you just came up with a very good reason for ESPN to keep putting LaVar Ball on TV every time he opens his dumb mouth.