The LaVar Ball Saga Continues
“He’s going to be better than Steph Curry. Put Steph Curry on UCLA’s team and put my boy on Golden State and watch what happens. Steph’s going to have problems trying to guard my boy”. Those are the words of LaVar Ball, father of UCLA star Lonzo Ball. Lonzo has made a name for himself averaging 15 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals per game, and will likely be a top 5 pick in the NBA draft. His dad is definitely letting everyone know about it and has sat down with Skip Bayless, Shannon Sharpe and Colin Cowherd on their respective shows to talk about his comments.
On both shows they obviously asked him if he truly believed his son was better than Steph and if he regretted making the comment. He stood by his comments and said that if he didn’t truly believe it he would’ve never said it. A lot of analysts or sports commentators have chimed in and said he’s adding more pressure for Lonzo to produce. He also doesn’t feel that’s the case, because he believes he’s prepared Lonzo and his other sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, for any situation on the court. He was quoted saying, “There’s no pressure in sports. It’s entertainment. Life threatening situations are pressure”. In a time where many parents are pushing their kids to become D-1 athletes and/or professional athletes, outspoken parents, like Ball, generally get a bad rep but he assured Colin Cowherd that his sons developed a passion for the sport when they were young.
Cowherd also asked him why he chose to create his own AAU team, why he didn’t send his sons to prep schools, as well as why he wanted his sons to go to UCLA. He chose to make his own team because there wasn’t a team that would take all three of his sons and give Gelo and Melo playing time. At the time Lonzo was 16, Gelo was 15 and Melo was 12 and while the latter two were playing against guys Lonzo’s age, they had no problem producing as seen in this highlight video.
In today’s day in age the top basketball players in the nation generally go to private schools for better competition and increased chances of being recruited by big name schools. With Lonzo being the #3 recruit in his class when he was in high school and Melo being the #93 recruit in the 2019 class you would think Lavar would have his sons follow the trend but that wasn’t the case. He allowed them to go to their local public school, Chino Hills, because “It’s not the school that makes the dude, it’s the dude that makes the school”. Being from southern Los Angeles it’s not surprise LaVar wanted his sons to go to UCLA. He said he sat down with his sons and explained that to choose the right school they had to answer the question, “If you can’t play basketball for whatever reason, will you still enjoy your time at the school?”. He said if they chose UCLA and they got hurt they still would have their family within driving distance from them.
Say what you want about LaVar Ball and his comments about Steph Curry but after seeing him on Undisputed and The Herd, I have a newfound respect for him. Don’t get me wrong, the comment was a stretch to say the least but Ball seems to have done a great job not only preparing his sons for the next level, but as a father too. His answers to the last couple questions I mentioned speak volumes on how he emphasizes being a family and making sure his sons always stick together. I think LaVar should sometimes bite his tongue but then again, he’s just being himself. With that being said, there’s two things you can expect from the Ball family in the future: LaVar will make headlines again for some comment he makes and the Ball brothers will be successful basketball players.