LaVar Ball has never been one to set the bar low for his sons. He’s said Lonzo Ball is already better than two-time reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry, and while his latest hot take isn’t quite on that level, it’s close.
"He's going to ball straight from day one,” LaVar said of Lonzo during an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” in which he very much embraced debate. “You guys can't even fathom how good he's going to be. This is easy for him. This is 100 percent in. He don't have to go to school, he gets to practice all day. I'm gonna tell you, it's going to be an easy, fun season for him. He gets to play with the best athletes he's ever played with."
What will be the result of how easy things will be for Lonzo? Let’s just say LaVar is predicting their win total will be a little higher than what Las Vegas is projecting.
"50-plus wins. He can win 50 in 80 games,” LaVar said, a prediction which host Stephen A. Smith to go into full Crab Rangoon mode while saying LaVar is crazy and should be drug tested.
LaVar didn’t deny the first accusation.
"I have to be crazy. How did I make him go on the Lakers?” LaVar said. “I do a lot of things."
Included among those things is (apparently) firing off crazy predictions for the Lakers’ win totals, but never accuse LaVar of not having a plan. He almost makes it sound doable.
"You know how I tell my son how to do it? Every 20 games you got to go 15-5 at the least,” LaVar said. “Over there at UCLA how many times did they lose? He's not a loser, he's a winner."
That’s been true at every level of basketball so far. Whether or not it will continue with the Lakers this season is (apparently) a matter of debate, but even if the Lakers do lose a bunch this season, Lonzo will likely ensure they don’t stay down for long. For a player with his type of potential, LaVar’s prediction isn’t totally out of reach in a couple of years once he develops and/or is joined by two max players next offseason.
For now though, to paraphrase a favorite phrase of Smith’s, that’s preposterous.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.