LiAngelo Ball worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday afternoon and was asked afterward about all kinds of things, so of course LaVar Ball came up. Perhaps unsurprisingly, LiAngelo doesn’t seem to think his dad’s outlandish quotes will negatively affect his chances at getting drafted in next month’s draft.
Here’s how he put it, via the Lakers’ official Twitter account.
“No, I don’t worry too much about what my dad is doing. I know what I’m about. I’m here playing for these guys, playing for the Lakers.”
Technically, he’s right. You can’t hurt what probably isn’t going to happen anyway.
LiAngelo Ball talks about playing in Lithuania and being able to learn from Lonzo pic.twitter.com/NefutVRxgd— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) May 29, 2018
Ball wasn’t invited to the NBA Draft Combine a couple weeks ago and has thus far only worked out for a couple teams. Things change all the time in the draft process, obviously, but he doesn’t seem to possess the skills or measurables to make him a legitimate draft candidate.
However, Ball thinks his time playing overseas helped him develop a mentality that might better help him fit in with an NBA team’s culture.
“That changed a lot, because like I said, if you’re not producing over there, they don’t ask no questions, they just take you off the team like that,” Ball said. “You won’t be playing... You’ve got to come in every time and play your hardest and just produce. That changed my mindset every time I hit the court I had to come out and play my hardest.”
Hearing these answers, it again strikes me as odd that people would openly root against LiAngelo or any of the Ball brothers simply because of how loud LaVar can be. Do they have shortcomings as players and maybe even people (LiAngelo’s stealing in China comes to mind)? Sure, but so do all of us.
It’s one thing to think he doesn’t have a chance as a sub-6’6” tweener who doesn’t really have the speed to play the wing nor the size to slide down to the four. That’s objectively fair. I just don’t quite get the desire to take that next step and mock him for trying, just because you don’t like his dad.