Gortat wrote on his Twitter account Monday that teammate John Wall “will torture” Ball when the Wizards visit the Lakers on Wednesday night. The tweet drew a sharp reaction from Ball’s teammates, but Ball chose to brush it aside Wednesday.
“Coming in, I already knew everybody was going to come at me like that,” Ball told ESPN’s Ryan Ruocco in a pregame interview. “So I don’t really pay it any mind. I’m not going to get into any Twitter war. I’m going to go out there and help my team.”
Gortat’s tweet came in response to a video in which Ball’s father, LaVar, said, “Washington is coming in Wednesday? They better beware, because Lonzo ain’t losing again [this week].”
man….. pleaseeeeee!!! @JohnWall will torture him for 48min 😂😂😂😂
— Marcin Gortat🇵🇱 (@MGortat) October 23, 2017
Ball seemed nonplussed about Gortat’s jab, saying he prefers to just do his job on the court: “Just watch film and put your work in at practice and when you get to the game just give it your all.”
Ball said neither his father’s comments nor the tweet by Gortat were a distraction for him as he prepared to face the 3-0 Wizards.
“I’m not saying anything, and I’m not retaliating,” Ball told Ruocco. “It doesn’t affect me in any type of way, I don’t think.
“I just go out there and play. It’s the NBA, so guys should want to come at me every night. I have no problem with it. So I just go out there, like I said, and play.”
Ball, playing just his fourth professional game, said he expected to get his stiffest test yet in his matchup with Wall, one of the elite point guards in the NBA.
“John Wall is one of the best players in the league, so obviously it’s going to be tough,” Ball said. “But he’s going to do what he can to help his team win, and I’m going to do what I can to help my team win.”
Ball opened the season against the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley, Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe and New Orleans Jrue Holiday. But as Ball said, Wall is an elite point guard and widely regarded as one of the fastest players in the NBA.
“To me he is probably the fastest guard I’m going to see this year,” Ball said. “So my focus on defense is just getting back and keeping him out of the lane. I know it’s going to be hard but I’ve got to try and just slow him down.”