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Carlisle rips ESPN for giving LaVar Ball platform

Carlisle rips ESPN for giving LaVar Ball platform

DALLAS — Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, the president of the NBA’s Coaches Association, considers it a “disgrace” that LaVar Ball’s comments criticizing Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton were published.

“As president of the coaches association, I view the recent ESPN article as a disgrace, quite honestly,” Carlisle said before Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks. “Luke Walton is a terrific, young coach who is bringing along a young team, and it’s a difficult task. If you don’t believe it, just ask me. We’re going through that now and went through that last year.”

Ball, the outspoken father of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that Walton has lost control of the team and players “don’t want to play for him.”

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.

“Two years ago, he took a veteran team and led them to 24 wins in a row, which is an amazing accomplishment. Off of that, he earned the Laker job. To have to deal with these kinds of ignorant distractions is deplorable.”

Carlisle was asked if he were suggesting that ESPN should determine which news to publish based on what coaches will like.

“I’m saying that they should look at their sources and do a better job of determining whether they have any merit or any validity. Or are they just blowhard loudmouths?” Carlisle said. “That’s what I’m saying. You got that?”

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