For as big of a spotlight that was on Lonzo Ball and heading into the 2017 NBA Draft, the young point guard never once fed into the attention. Of course, Ball didn’t need to, as his father worked to generate more than enough buzz.
Although LaVar Ball managed to make his son a household name before he even stepped foot on an NBA court, it may have also made him a target. Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley didn’t hide his intention to welcome Lonzo to the NBA on Opening Night by defending him the length of the court.
Beverley cautioned Ball would face similar treatment throughout the league because of his father’s bold claims. While some — namely Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray — did take matching with Ball personally, he never reacted in any sort of negative manner and remained focused on the court.
Nor did Ball let his father building him up as the world’s greatest player affect his approach and mindset. It’s one of the traits former teammate Isaiah Thomas praised Ball for during an appearance on “Cold As Balls,” via the LOL Network’s YouTube channel:
“Lonzo has a bright future. And the dope thing about him is he’s a humble kid.”
While he wasn’t certain how much Ball could improve as a jump shooter, Thomas previously praised him and touted the 20-year-old as someone who would become a ‘special’ player. Both during and since his time moving on from the Lakers, Thomas has been complementary of members of the Lakers’ young core.
So too has Channing Frye, who was included with Thomas in the midseason trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. While they both spoke positively about Ball, they’re bullish on Kyle Kuzma.