LaVar Ball, the father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, has taken a lot of criticism in recent months for being outspoken on a lot of things involving his son.
For example, LaVar said that he believes Lonzo is better than Golden State Warriors point guard and former two-time MVP Stephen Curry. He also turned down endorsement offers from many of the top companies, saying that he will only sell his Big Baller Brand for a billion dollars.
With how outspoken and involved LaVar is, many people thought that teams would shy away from Lonzo in the draft, but that didn’t end up being the case as Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka fell in love with LaVar and Lonzo when they visited the Ball residence in Chino Hills the week before the draft, leading them to selecting Lonzo.
LaVar’s involvement is still a bit of a concern for many, but those concerns were recently put to ease as LaVar said that he is going to back off Lonzo now that he is on the Lakers, putting his trust in Johnson, via Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
As Johnson recalls, “He said, ‘Earvin, look, I’m not following my son. I’m not going to be hanging out in L.A. I’m going to be training these young kids [his other sons].'”
“‘As far as training my boy, this is as far as I can take him,'” LaVar says he told Johnson. “‘I’ll leave it up to you to take him further. You can get him better with the film time and the coaching. You can take him to another level.'”
“I trust you with my boy. I just got a great feeling that you guys are going to take Zo to a whole other level.'”
LaVar played a big part in getting Lonzo to where he is today, but it is relieving to see him backing off and letting the Lakers staff handle the rookie from here on out, while LaVar will likely shift his focus to his other two sons, LiAngelo, who is set to be a freshman at UCLA, and LaMelo, who plays for Chino Hills High School and is also committed to play at UCLA.
Now the pressure will be on Lonzo to live up to his potential and it starts tonight as the Lakers kick off Summer League in Las Vegas against the Clippers.