With Lonzo Ball firmly entrenched as one of the centerpieces of the Los Angeles Lakers’ future, his outspoken father LaVar Ball will have a larger megaphone with which to blast his hot takes about both his son as the NBA as a whole.
One of the elder Ball’s craziest stances came a few months before the Lakers even selected his son No. 2 in the 2017 NBA Draft, when he said Lonzo was already better than the NBA’s two-time reigning MVP.
“I have the utmost confidence in what my boy is doing. He’s better than Steph Curry to me. Put Steph Curry on UCLA’s team right now and put my boy on Golden State and watch what happens,” LaVar said during the February interview.
Now that Lonzo is actually in the NBA, some have theorized comments like this might place a target on him during his rookie campaign and beyond. In a recent interview with Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer, Curry seemed to take the high road and laughed off LaVar’s craziness:
Curry laughingly said Sunday that calling Lonzo Ball better than Curry at this point in both players’ careers was a testament to LaVar Ball’s “insanity.”
Curry actually tried to spin the question back into a positive.
“I don’t know him at all,” Curry told Fowler. “They (the Ball family) are obviously unique and they are doing it their way. You can say a lot about the power in that.”
In the aftermath of his own teammate Kevin Durant saying “Nobody wants to play in Under Armours,” Curry was just happy that Lonzo proved that wasn’t true during Las Vegas Summer League.
“I think Lonzo wore my shoes. Hey, that’s somebody who wants to wear my shoes!” Curry said.
Not all NBA players will be as affable about LaVar’s hyperbole. Joel Embiid already got into a feud with the Big Baller Dad, so if he ever stays healthy for more than like two games consecutively Lonzo might have something to worry about.
In all seriousness, Embiid will presumably not be the only player to take exception to LaVar’s mouth, which is something Lonzo will have to deal with as his career goes on. If he is as good as the Lakers hope he can be, then he won’t have much to worry about when getting everyone’s best shot. If he struggles in his debut campaign, that type of animosity may make things considerably more difficult for him.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.