Lonzo Ball has taken the spotlight in college basketball all season long. The gifted freshman has led his Bruins to an overall record of 26-3 so far, and third in the most recent AP Poll. However, Ball has been in the media recently for things other than his production on the court. In fact, it is his father, Lavar Ball, that has made the headlines about his son that has the media in a frenzy. It has gotten to the point that some anonymous NBA executives are saying that drafting Ball would come with a ton of negative baggage.
“He’s going to be better than Steph Curry,” Lavar Ball said. “Steph Curry’s really good, but my son is young, he’s got time to go. And you only consider him good because he won a couple of championships. What if he didn’t win no championships? He made some shots at the right time. But he’s not as young as my boy.” Thank you cbssports.com for the quote because it is pure gold. This is a classic example of a father living in the same spotlight that his son has made for himself. The fact that now, after some boneheaded comments from his father, we are questioning Lonzo Ball as a draft prospect is terrible. This is the most aggressive example of a parent boasting about his kid’s talent in a while, but by no means is this the first. 15 years ago, this wouldn’t have been a big story, because frankly, it wouldn’t have been broadcasted. But this type of situation has happened before. Through the years, the media has become closer to the teams and players, resulting in the publicizing of these types of stories.
Lonzo Ball has been in the spotlight ever since he was playing high school ball at Chino Hills in California. The hype surrounding him has been real and intense for longer than just this freshman year at UCLA, so finding himself at the center of attention is nothing new to him. In fact, it might be something that he fuels off of. Could it be that Ball’s father is making these comments to continue to ignite his son’s confidence to keep propelling the season he is having? Unorthodox, and foolish to some, but it might be what works. Ball has shown maturity beyond his 19-year-old age, and stays calm, cool and collected regardless of the point of the game, or what people say about him. 15 points per game for the 6’6 point guard to go along with a nation-leading 7.6 assists per game has had him near the top of every draft board the entire season, and it should continue. Silly comments from his Dad, a man that everyone can see as a bit eccentric, shouldn’t deter teams from wanting to take him. He brings a maturity and swag to the court, and the obvious advantageous size as a PG to a team. With his pass-first mentality, he won’t be a tough person to fit into a system. To NBA exec’s around the league: Don’t be the one to pass up on this talent because of comments his father has said about him, your franchise could regret it for a long time to come.
Written by: Drew Zlogar (@Drew_Zlogar)