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Morning Briefing: Guess what LaVar Ball thinks is the Lakers’ worst move ever

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LaVar Ball talks to journalists Jan. 3, 2018, in Vilnius, Lithuania.
(Petras Malukas / AFP / Getty Images)

Quick, name the worst move the Lakers ever made.

That’s a tough one. The Shaquille O’Neal trade? The Dwight Howard and Steve Nash acquisitions? The Magic Johnson front-office debacle? Something involving Kwame Brown, Smush Parker or Adam Morrison? Really we could be here all day.

Let’s narrow it down a bit: Name the worst move LaVar Ball thinks the Lakers ever made.

Now that’s a lot easier — it happened over the weekend, when the Lakers agreed to send his oldest son, Lonzo Ball, to New Orleans as part of a blockbuster deal to acquire six-time All-Star Anthony Davis.

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“It will be the worst move the Lakers ever did in their life and they will never win another championship. Guarantee it,” LaVar Ball told ESPN on Saturday moments after hearing about the trade over the public-address system at a Drew League game. “They’re going to regret it.”

Rather than trade for a 26-year-old superstar who averaged 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.6 steals in 56 games last season, Ball said the Lakers could have returned to elite status by keeping Lonzo and adding brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo to the roster as well.

“I gave them a chance,” Ball said. “You can rewind it and go back. I said if you get the three Ball brothers, you can survive this. You let him go, oh, it’s going to be a cold day in hell. Trust and believe that.”

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Ball is known for making outrageous claims regarding his own and his sons’ basketball skills — “Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one on one” is an actual quote — so his comments aren’t surprising in the least.

Still, O’Neal couldn’t let slide Ball’s assertion that trading Lonzo was the Lakers’ worst move ever. He offered a simple correction via Instagram.

“Second worst,” wrote O’Neal, whose 2004 trade to the Miami Heat marked the end of a Lakers dynasty.

Lying down on job

No one felt worse than Henrik Stenson, except maybe the guy who was pelted in the head with a golf ball on an errant shot by Stenson during the third round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

The 2016 British Open champion said he immediately located Will Kamensky, who was lying on the ground with a bump the size of “half of a golf ball” on his forehead.

“I walk up to him and I said, ‘I’m sorry.’ What else can you say?” Stenson said. “And he says, ‘Can you do me one favor? Can I take a picture with you?’

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“So, next thing, I’m down on the ground, as well, taking a picture, a selfie, laying down with him and his girlfriend,”

Before medical personnel took Kamensky away. Stenson said he got contact information to check up on him and maybe send a gift.

“I might send him more than just one golf ball next time,” said Stenson, who finished the tournament at five-under-par and tied for ninth. “I might send him a couple dozen or something to try to make up for my poor shot.”

Wisdom merchant

Herm Edwards is pretty good at giving lectures. It’s because of one of them that we all know and will never forget the reason football players and coaches do what they do (“You play to win the game! Hel-lo?”).

Of course, that lecture was given at a postgame news conference in 2002, when Edwards was coach of the New York Jets. Now, the second-year coach at Arizona State and former ESPN analyst will have a chance to spread such wisdom in a classroom setting.

Edwards, 65, has been appointed a professor in practice at Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he will serve as a guest lecturer and conduct discussions on sports and the media.

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“As coaches, we are teachers first and foremost,” Edwards said in a statement released by the school.

Arizona State will be the only Power Five conference school with its football coach and athletic director also on the faculty staff, the university said.

Ray Anderson, vice president for university athletics, is a professor of practice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.


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