LaVar Ball has become almost as famous as his son, Lonzo Ball, who is expected to be a top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. LaVar’s controversial comments have a way of becoming an internet sensation.
One NBA general manager told the Sporting News that Lonzo’s relationship with his father will be looked into and could impact his draft status.
“It doesn’t help, all this stuff with his father. I don’t know what is gained for the kid by putting that much pressure on him. Nobody from the league has been meeting with (Lonzo Ball) or anything, but that is going to be another thing to look at when it comes to due diligence before the draft. How does he handle his dad, is it just something he laughs about, or is it real pressure on him,” the GM told the Sporting News.
He recently said he could have beat Jordan in a one-on-one game. It is a lofty statement for someone who averaged 2.2 points and 2.3 assists in 26 games at Washington State. His outlandish comments have caused #LavarBallSays to trend on Twitter.
LaVar is not the silent and supportive type like many parents. For all his antics, it does not seem to bother Lonzo or impact his play.
“My dad’s a funny guy. People were coming up to me and saying, ‘Are you embarrassed? Your dad said you’re going to win the championship.’ No, I’m not embarrassed. I know how he’s going to act. I just go out there and play. Let him be him,” Lonzo told Bleacher Report.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Lonzo Claims Lonzo Ball Is Better Than Steph Curry
The Steph Curry controversy started when LaVar told TMZ his son would one day be better than Steph Curry. “You can’t compare my boy to anyone. He’s gonna be better than Steph Curry in the NBA,” LaVar told TMZ. It was a bold statement considering his son is still in college, and Curry is one of the best players in the NBA. He then doubled down on his original comments in an ESPN interview by saying Lonzo was already better than Curry.
For his part, Curry took the high road. “I don’t want to talk about that. I wish his kids the best and I know they’ll be great NBA players. That’s their job. That’s it,” Curry told the USA Today. Watch the interview in the video below.
Heavy interviewed Dick Vitale to get his thoughts on the top college prospects for the 2017 NBA Draft. Vitale weighs in on Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz.
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2. LaVar Created The Big Ballers Organization so His Three Sons Could Play on the Same Team
According to SLAM Magazine, LaVar created a 17-and-under team that would allow all three of his sons to play on the same team. It was an interesting move given his youngest son, LaMelo, was in seventh grade. Another unusual aspect of the team, they did their best to play in local tournaments since they were not affiliated with the shoe companies who ran the national tournaments that bring teams in from all over the country.
“We’re doing some s**t that has never been done before. We kind of march to our own beat in the fact that we make our own rules. Anyone that’s super successful, they didn’t stay on the same road. They kind of went their own way, so we jumped out the box and took a risk,” Ball told SLAM Magazine.
From there, LaVar has created a clothing line called Big Baller Brand. “BIG BALLER BRAND is a Lifestyle Apparel company founded on core family values, and inspired by the 3 Ball brothers from Chino Hills, California,” the company notes on its website.
3. LaVar’s Wife, Tina, Is an Athletic Director at a Southern California Middle School
LaVar, never shy to voice his opinion, even had basketball on his mind when he met his wife. He spoke with Los Angeles Magazine about their first meeting.
“I see this tall girl, very attractive, walking down a hallway and I go, ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’re gonna be doing something!’ Once that was in her head, I had her. I picked a big girl who was beautiful. A big stallion,” LaVar told Los Angeles Magazine.
Tina played college basketball, and it is something LaVar believes has helped his sons play.
“We’re really a basketball family. With a name like Ball? Tina played basketball. You don’t get these boys without having this setup. You can’t have a wife who played violin. We’re in the gym every Saturday and Sunday, and that’s a family outing for us. My wife is not saying, ‘Oh, we have to have another tournament this week,” LaVar told Bleacher Report.
4. LaVar Said His Son Will Only Play for the Lakers Then Walked His Comments Back
It is hard to keep track of the outlandish things LaVar has said. In an interview on an Arizona radio station, he claimed his son would only play for the Lakers. Days later he claimed his interview was taken out of context. He clarified his earlier statement in an interview with Colin Cowherd.
LaVar noted his son wants to play in the NBA no matter what team he ends up on. He said his comments about the Lakers were about “speaking it into existence.” LaVar noted that it would be great for him to play in Los Angeles where he is close to family.
LaVar’s comments are unlikely to prevent an NBA team from passing on selecting Lonzo. For what it’s worth, the Lakers could be in a prime position to draft Lonzo as they are projected to have a top three draft pick in June’s draft.
5. He Has a Feud With Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley spoke with the Sporting News after LaVar’s comments about Curry and his son went viral. Barkley was critical of LaVar noting he felt he was overstepping his bounds.
“Just because you say some s**t, doesn’t make it right. He’s gonna be better than Steph Curry? That’s what he said. Steph Curry has won a couple MVPs, he’s pretty good. Man, let me tell you something. That’s that AAU s—. You can’t say a guy is going to be better than Steph Curry, a guy who has played 30 college games. I know you can be proud of your son, but at some point, it becomes stupidity,” Barkley told Sporting News.
LaVar fired back in his interview with Cowherd. “If Charles thought like me maybe he’d win a championship,” LaVar told Cowherd. The full interview can be seen in the above video.