The Los Angeles Lakers have the second overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, which appears to put them in prime position to select UCLA guard Lonzo Ball. However, any conversation about Ball invariably also includes a discussion about his outspoken father, who is attempting to start a new brand based around his three sons.
LaVar Ball’s antics have been a major topic of debate, and he has rubbed a number of people the wrong way. Among them is NBA legend Charles Barkley, who didn’t hold back when asked about Ball on “The Rich Eisen Show“:
“Can anybody in sports be more disliked than the dad Ball? I mean, this guy won’t let his kid shine. I think his kid is a hell of a player. Might be the best player in the draft….seems like a great kid, but I don’t think there is anybody in sports I dislike more than Mr. Ball. I don’t know him as a person….but think about this, when is the last time we talked about the kid Ball?…Think about the last five months, when is the last time we actually talked about the kid and wasn’t talking about his dad? That just pisses me off.”
Barkley was then asked how Lakers president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, would handle LaVar if they decided to select Lonzo in the draft:
“I think Magic is the perfect person to tell Mr. Ball to shut the hell up and stay out of our gym.”
Barkley isn’t known for pulling punches, and he clearly doesn’t here. Whether you love him or hate him, LaVar Ball has quickly become one of the most polarizing people in the basketball world, and some are expressing serious concern over how he could impact his son’s career.
That said, most believe that LaVar will not be a negative factor in deciding whether or not to draft Lonzo, though what teams are saying publicly could be very different than their own internal deliberations. We will have to wait until June 22nd to find out of Ball slips in the draft, though currently, he is the heavy favorite to be taken with the second pick.