The first year of the LaVar Ball era in Los Angeles is officially in the books and while LaVar was making headlines for off the court his antics, Lonzo Ball was doing his best to blend in with a young Los Angeles Lakers team.
The No. 2 overall pick in 2017, Ball already had enough pressure on him without his charismatic father bringing attention to himself. But from a circus in Lithuania to a family affair in China, Ball had a lot more attention piled on his plate in his rookie season than he could have ever imagined.
You’d imagine the chaos that surrounded Ball and his family this season would have taken a toll on the 20 year old point guard, but Ball’s teammate Julius Randle says that Lonzo was unbothered by everything that went on with his family off the court.
“I would say it was more of we would sit there and say ‘How is he going to handle it?’ Something would be said or it was a headline or whatever it was, like the Trump thing,” Randle said in an interview on “The Woj Pod” with Adrian Wojnarwoski of ESPN. “We’re sitting there, we’re laughing, but like this kid is really going through it.
“For me personally, I’d go in the locker room and be like ‘How is he going to handle it?’ And he has the thickest skin. He acted like nothing happened, it was the craziest thing. I don’t think anything really affects him. He’s really tough, and that’s his pops. He’s probably like ‘Man, that’s dad. I’m not tripping.’ It was new to us, but honestly at some point you understand it and you’re just like ‘Man, he’s not tripping about it why would we even care?’ I don’t think that was his focus, he was just like ‘I’m just going to let my dad be my dad.’ He was just enjoying being a teammate of ours.”
On a team known for showing tough love, there’s a good chance LaVar wasn’t off limits when it came to teasing Lonzo in the locker room. However, from what it sounds like, Lonzo took everything that was thrown at him in stride.
With LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, the two younger brothers of Lonzo, waiting in the wings, LaVar isn’t going anywhere. But at least Lakers fans can rest easy knowing that their franchise point guard isn’t going to let anything distract him from being the best he can be on the court.