LaVar & Lonzo Ball reality TV show premieres on Aug. 31

Their lives have become part of a reality TV show. Lonzo Ball enters his rookie season with plenty of hype and attention surrounding becoming the Lakers No. 2 pick, and all the expectations that come with it. His father, LaVar, has perpetuated that with outspoken support about his son’s game and his own apparent supremacy over certain NBA legends.

Not only will that story play out throughout the 2017-18 NBA season. It will also be featured on an actual reality TV show called “Ball in the Family,” with the series first two episodes airing on Aug. 31 on Facebook’s Watch. The show, which will have 10 episodes, will then air new ones on Sundays beginning Sept. 10 on the Ball in the Family Show Page.

“We wanted to give our fans an unfiltered look into our lives and show them a side of us that isn’t typically seen,” LaVar Ball said in a release through Bunim/Murray Productions, which also has produced other popular reality TV shows, such as “The Real World,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “Born This Way.” “We have a big community of fans on Facebook, so we’re excited our series is going to be on Watch. And who better to help us tell our story than Bunim/Murray Productions.”
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Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Bresnahan on Lonzo Ball & Lakers’ front office getting an ‘A-‘ this offseason

So many questions cannot be fully answered until the Lakers actually start playing basketball in the 2017-18 season.

How much can rookie point guard Lonzo Ball live up to the hype? How much will second-year forward Brandon Ingram grow? Can the Lakers improve enough this season to entice LeBron James, Russell Westbrook or Paul George to join next year?

Despite that uncertainty, Spectrum SportsNet’s Lakers analyst Mike Bresnahan still gives the Lakers’ front office an ‘A-‘ for the moves they made this offseason in the latest episode of the “We Want Tacos” Lakers podcast. The Lakers did not set off any 4th of July fireworks, but they still accomplished plenty of other things.

They dumped expensive salary (Timofey Mozgov’s three-year, $48 million contract). They made some promising draft picks both that were high profile (Ball) and under-the-radar (Kyle Kuzma). They acquired a player that bolstered their backcourt depth without sacrificing cap flexibility (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope).

Bresnahan and I also delved into other topics on the podcast. Bresnahan shared his outlook on Ball winning the NBA’s rookie of the year award. He explained his skepticism the Lakers will have any player make next season’s All-Star team. And he also went down memory lane as a former Lakers beat writer with The Los Angeles Times, and how contrasts with his current gig at Spectrum SportsNet.

Later on, Spectrum SportsNet’s Kelli Tennant, Bresnahan and I analyzed Jordan Clarkson’s upcoming role this season.

Spectrum SportsNet’s Chris McGee, Bresnahan and I then shared how we think the Lakers’ depth chart will shape up.

RELATED:

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Why the Lakers have considered Brandon Ingram untouchable in trade talks

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mmedina@scng.com. Subscribe to the “We Want Tacos” podcast on iTunes.

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Why Fred Roggin cautions Lakers fans not to overreact from Las Vegas Summer League

The man has become “The Dean” for his longevity in the Los Angeles sports media scene with both his honest opinions and reasoned perspective. So it should not be surprising that Fred Roggin, KNBC’s longtime sports anchor and host of “Lunchtime with Roggin and Rodney” on AM570, has a sharp take on what to make of the Lakers’ success in Las Vegas Summer League.

In the latest episode of the “We Want Tacos” Lakers podcast, Roggin broke down the big-picture implications from Summer League and what developments will just stay in Vegas. Roggin also shares his analysis on Lonzo Ball’s early play, what constitutes success next season and the direction the Lakers are going under a new front office with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. Roggin, who has won various Emmy awards (36), Golden Mikes (22) and Associated Press honors (three), also shares his memories covering the Lakers and what it was like to interact with the Lakers’ late broadcaster Chick Hearn.

You can hear more of Roggin’s insights on “Lunchtime with Roggin and Rodney” everyday on AM570 from noon- 2 pm PT every weekday. You can watch Roggin every night on NBC4 as well as on “Going Roggin” that airs on Saturdays (3 pm PT) and on Sundays (midnight PT).

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Lakers meet with free-agent guard Ian Clark on Thursday

Why Magic Johnson doesn’t think he’s putting too much pressure on Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mmedina@scng.com. Subscribe to the “We Want Tacos” podcast on iTunes.

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Why Magic Johnson has no regrets trading D’Angelo Russell

The Los Angeles Lakers introduced newly signed guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during a press conference with General Manager Rob Pelinka, right, and President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson Tuesday, July 18, 2017, El Segundo, CA.
(Photo by Steve McCrank, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

EL SEGUNDO – Magic Johnson did not enter the Lakers’ offseason planning to trade D’Angelo Russell by whatever means necessary. Johnson also did not enter the Lakers’ offseason hellbent on holding onto Russell no matter what other teams offered.

The Lakers remained intrigued with Russell’s skills as a point guard as he further developed his outside shot and showed flashes of his superior passing. The Lakers still remained skeptical, however, of Russell’s various other qualities regarding his leadership and work ethic. So while the Lakers stayed convinced that Russell would further develop with more experience and maturity, they harbored questions on whether he could become the franchise’s new face following the Kobe Bryant era.

Under that framework, Johnson had higher priorities as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations. Find a way to trade either of the burdensome contracts in veterans Timofey Mozgov (three years, $48 million) or Luol Deng (three years, $54 million). Collect draft picks. Stay aggressive in trades (Paul George) without squandering their No. 2 pick and second-year forward Brandon Ingram. Acquire players with positional versatility, an outside shot and a defensive presence, so the Lakers can adapt to the modern NBA.

After four teams offered various trade proposals involving Russell, Johnson finally heard one that fulfilled his goals. The Brooklyn Nets would accept Mozgov and Russell in exchange for center Brook Lopez and the No. 27 pick.

“They got a great player in D’Angelo and we got what we wanted,” Johnson said.
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Lakers anticipate filling out roster in “next week or two”

Magic Johnson said the Lakers might sign another player in 1-1 1/2 weeks. Photo by Steve McCrank, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

EL SEGUNDO — The Lakers are continuing their deliberative approach to free agency by bolstering their backcourt without compromising their long-term cap flexibility.

The Lakers spent Tuesday introducing their first and only free-agent acquisition in guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Both Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka sounded patient on when they would make their next move. Pelinka estimated the Lakers are “going to complete the roster and fill out positions in the next week or two.”

“We’re looking to see what we’re going to do at that position,” Johnson said on Tuesday at the Lakers’ practice facility. “We’re hoping in the next week, week and a half we can fill that position. But right now we can’t tell you there’s a leading candidate.”

Later with a smaller gathering of reporters, Johnson said there are “five or six guys we’re considering” to fill a vacant back-up point guard spot. The most likely candidates, according to league sources, are either free-agent guards Ian Clark or Tyler Ennis through their “room” exception worth $4.3 million.

Clark could help the team’s outside shooting after averaging a career-high 6.8 points while shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from 3-point range last season with Golden State. The Lakers view the 26-year-old Clark as a good mentor for rookie point guard Lonzo Ball after helping the Warriors win the 2017 NBA championship. After only playing four years in the NBA, Clark still could further cement his career with the Lakers should he have a productive season. Incidentally, the Warriors decided not to retain Clark and pursued Nick Young after he opted out of his $5.7 million contract with the Lakers to become a free agent.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have also expressed interest in the 22-year-old Ennis after he posted a career-high 7.7 points on 45.1 percent shooting and 2.4 assists in 17.8 minutes through 22 games following a mid-season trade from Houston. It remains to be seen if the Lakers hold firm on trying to find a more experienced point guard.

The Lakers currently have 13 players under contract for their regular-season roster, while also signing guard Alex Caruso to a two-way contract. The Lakers can field a maximum 15-player roster for the 2017-18 regular season, while holding two additional roster spots for players on a two-way contract. Lakers rookie center Thomas Bryant could be a candidate for a two-way contract, which would allow a player to spend up to 45 days with NBA team and the remaining time with its G-League affiliate. The Lakers and Southbay Lakers would split the costs on the player, depending on how long he is with each organization. The Lakers can fill out the rest of their roster with veteran-minimum deals.

RELATED:

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Lakers sign guard Alex Caruso to two-year deal on two-way contract

Why Lonzo Ball’s summer league performance is an encouraging sign for his rookie season

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mmedina@scng.com. Subscribe to the “We Want Tacos” podcast on iTunes.

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Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma to play Wednesday vs. Sixers

Los Angeles Lakers introduce 2017 first round draft pick Lonzo Ball of UCLA during press conference at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo Friday June 23, 2017. Lonzo Ball answers question. Photo By Robert Casillas, Daily Breeze/ SCNG

The Lakers decided not to shut at least some of their key players for the remainder of Vegas Summer League. Both Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball and rookie forward Kyle Kuzma will be available for when the Lakers (1-2) play the Philadelphia 76ers (1-2) on Wednesday at 7:30 pm PT at the Thomas & Mack Center. Lakers rookie guard Josh Hart (sprained right ankle) and rookie guard PJ Dozier (sprained left ankle) will sit out.

After Ball’s absence on Monday eliminated a marquee matchup against Kings guard and No. 5 pick De’Aaron Fox, Ball will return against a Sixers team that sidelined No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz after spraining his left ankle last weekend.

After nursing various ailments that kept them out of Monday’s game against Sacramento, Ball (right groin) and Kuzma (cramps) completed the team’s voluntary workout on Tuesday. Hart has missed the past two games, while Dozier suffered his injury during Monday’s game against the Kings.

The Lakers will field a new lineup when accounting for shutting down second-year forward Brandon Ingram (cramps) and waiving second-year guard David Nwaba. Among the standouts in Monday’s win over Sacramento included guard Vander Blue (21 points, six rebounds, two assists in 29 minutes off the bench) and guard Alex Caruso (18 points, nine assists, four steals in 30 minutes as a starter).

If the Lakers beat the Sixers on Wednesday, they will play next on Thursday at 7:30 pm. If the Lakers lose on Wednesday, they would play their final game in the consolation bracket on Friday at 5:30 pm PT.

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Why Lonzo Ball’s summer league performance is an encouraging sign for his rookie season

Lakers agree to 1-year, $18 million deal with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Lakers’ Larry Nance eager to have bragging rights in dunking and outside shooting

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mmedina@scng.com. Subscribe to the “We Want Tacos” podcast on iTunes.

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Lakers waive second-year guard David Nwaba

Lakers guard David Nwaba (10), left, tries to drive past the Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson (24) during a game at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 19, 2017. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Orange County Register/SCNG)

The Lakers waived second-year guard David Nwaba, a move made both to give themselves more roster and financial flexibility after agreeing to one-year, $18 million deal with free agent guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The Lakers had exercised a $1.3 million team option on June 28 to retain Nwaba, but that contract was non-guaranteed. Any NBA team can sign Nwaba once he clears waivers in the next 48 hours, while the Lakers can sign Caldwell-Pope once Nwaba clears waivers. It’s possible the Lakers could resign Nwaba on a less expensive deal if no other team claims him.

The Lakers had strictly made this move out of financial considerations, according to a league source familiar with the team’s thinking. The Lakers had as much as $17 million to spend on a one-year deal, so this move enables them to pay $18 million to Caldwell-Pope. But the move still came at the cost of losing a player the Lakers liked for his defensive hustle.

Nwaba had averaged nine points on 57.1 percent shooting and 2.0 assists through three Summer-League appearances. Nwaba, who starred at University High of Los Angeles and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before going undrafted, impressed the Lakers after calling him up from the D-Fenders for a 10-day contract shortly after negotiating a buyout for veteran guard Jose Calderon following the Feb. 23 trade deadline. The Lakers subsequently signed him to another 10-day deal before signing him to a two-year deal. He averaged 6.0 points on 58 percent shooting and 3.2 rebounds in 19.9 minutes through 20 appearances and two starts.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are deliberating on how to fill out the rest of their roster using the “room exception” worth $4.3 million. They have maintained interest in 31-year-old free-agent guard Rajon Rondo and 22-year-old point guard Tyler Ennis, who the Lakers acquired in a mid-season trade from Houston. The Lakers met with Rondo on Tuesday, and have yet to schedule any meeting with Ennis. Nonetheless, the Lakers and Ennis know each other after he averaged a career-high 7.7 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting and 2.4 assists through 22 games.


RELATED:

Why Lonzo Ball’s summer league performance is an encouraging sign for his rookie season

Lakers agree to 1-year, $18 million deal with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Lakers’ Larry Nance eager to have bragging rights in dunking and outside shooting

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mmedina@scng.com. Subscribe to the “We Want Tacos” podcast on iTunes.

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Why Lonzo Ball’s summer league performance is an encouraging sign for his rookie season

No rookie has eyes on him during Summer League play like Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball.

There’s focus on his shooting struggles. There’s analysis on if his absence in Monday’s game in Sacramento had more to do with ducking a No. 5 pick De’Aaron Fox than an actual groin injury. And, of course, there’s attention on his outspoken father, LaVar.

Even through all those circumstances, I explain in the latest “We Want Tacos” Lakers podcast why Ball’s summer-league play has mostly been encouraging for his rookie season. The episode also features sound from Lonzo Ball, teammates Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson, Lakers head coach Luke Walton and summer-league head coach Jud Buechler as well as LaVar Ball himself.

RELATED:

Lakers agree to 1-year, $18 million deal with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Lakers’ Larry Nance eager to have bragging rights in dunking and outside shooting

Lakers secure 95-92 win over Kings despite Lonzo Ball’s absence

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mmedina@scng.com. Subscribe to the “We Want Tacos” podcast on iTunes.

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Lakers’ Lonzo Ball to sit in Monday’s summer-league game vs. Sacramento with groin injury

Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball shoots over Los Angeles Clippers’ Brice Johnson (10) during overtime of an NBA summer league basketball game, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) ORG XMIT: NVJL117

LAS VEGAS – Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball will not play in Monday’s summer-league game against the Sacramento Kings because of a sore right groin, according to a league source familiar with the situation. The Lakers later announced that rookie forward Kyle Kuzma (cramps) would sit out after already ruling out rookie shooting guard Josh Hart (sprained right ankle) and shutting down second-year forward Brandon Ingram (cramps). The Lakers also listed rookie center Thomas Bryant as probable after experiencing soreness in his left knee.

Ball originally had a groin injury last week practice before Summer-League play, the source said. Lakers assistant coach Jud Buechler, the team’s summer-league coach, had mentioned on Friday that Ball was “banged up” in recent days. Ball then felt soreness after playing on Friday and Saturday, the source said. Nonetheless, the Lakers do not consider the injury serious, and are taking precautionary measures.

The Lakers (0-2) have not formally shut Ball down for the remainder of summer-league play. The Lakers have at least two more games to play and a possibly postseason appearance if they win at least one game. But it would not be surprising if the Lakers rule Ball out for precautionary reasons. The Lakers had shut down Ingram for summer-league play after he nursed a cramp in his right leg in the opener on Friday against the Clippers.

Ball’s absence strips away a potential rematch between the Lakers’ No. 2 pick and No. 5 pick De’Aaron Fox, who had scored 39 points against UCLA in the NCAA tournament. Fox tweeted out an emoji of a facepalm, a post that was soon quickly deleted. Ball also loses the chance to build off of his play that has fielded mixed results.

After Ball finished with five points while shooting 2 of 15 from the field and 1 of 11 from 3-point range on Friday against the Clippers, Ball followed with 11 points while shooting a 5-of-13 a clip and 1-of-5 from the perimeter.

Yet, Ball also offered promising signs with his passing and ability to run the offense. After logging five assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block against the Clippers, Ball recorded a triple-double against the Celtics with 11 assists and 11 rebounds. That marked the first triple-double in Las Vegas Summer League history since 2008 when statistics were recorded consistently.


RELATED:

Lonzo Ball struggles with shot, Brandon Ingram has injury scare in summer league loss to Clippers


Lonzo Ball compensates poor shooting with leadership, playmaking against Celtics

Lakers summer-league team experiencing learning curve on defense

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mmedina@scng.com. Subscribe to the “We Want Tacos” podcast on iTunes.

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How Kyle Kuzma’s work on outside shot helped in second Summer League game

LAS VEGAS –For a player that prides himself on his versatility, Lakers rookie forward Kyle Kuzma has tried to ensure he does not become among the many workers that fall victim to this trend in many industries.

A jack of all trades, a master of none.

So with the Lakers selecting him with the 27th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Kuzma tried to show his worth amounted beyond his ability to play multiple positions and willingness to make hustle plays. He wanted to prove he could shoot the ball well. So, Kuzma took on the repetitive task in focusing on that skill recently in gym workouts.

In the Lakers’ 86-81 loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday at Thomas & Mack Center, Kuzma provided some early returns on investment. He posted a team-leading 31 points, while shooting 12 of 26 from the field and 5 of 10 from 3-point range.

“I’ve been working since the end of the season to improve my shooting ability,” Kuzma said. “It’s all about getting reps and being in the gym.”
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