Appearing Tuesday on FOX Sports Radio’s JT “The Brick” with Tomm Looney show, Ball reiterated his comments about LeBron’s sons just hours after the Cleveland Cavaliers star asked that he keep his family out of it. “I have no problem with LeBron, they asked me a question about if I thought superstar players’ kids were good. My opinion is I’ve never seen one that’s been really good. LeBron is going to make his kids one of the best players ever according to him.”
The full interview is well worth your time, but LaVar goes on to say that he’s not going to change his ways, no matter who he offends. “I don’t care, they not going to stop me from doing what I’m doing. If they get a little touchy about it, who cares,” Ball said. “They’re not gonna do nothing to me and I’m not gonna do nothing to them, it’s not a big deal.”
The Bruins kicked off their NCAA run Friday night with a convincing 97-80 win over Kent State, and Lonzo, to his credit, hasn't let the surrounding noise get to him. But Ball's father seems to have already turned his attention to the NBA. "Why shouldn't they (pick Lonzo first)? ... If you've got a kid who makes everybody better, you mean to tell me you wouldn't take him over a guy that's just averaging 40 points and does all this stuff and losing? The key to the game is winning. If you want a winner, you pick my boy," LaVar told TMZ.
Fultz, whose Washington Huskies didn't make the tournament, averaged just over 23 points and nearly six rebounds and assists this season. The Huskies were just 9-22 on the season, and Fultz has already announced his intention to go pro. Despite Fultz's gaudy numbers, Ball's father, unsurprisingly, continued stumping for his son. "Look what he did to UCLA. They 15-17 last year. You bring one dude and change the culture, that's what you want," he said. "He's going to go to the Lakers. Watch. The Lakers gonna get that ball, and then they gonna get that Ball."
In the interview, Ball was asked about the pressure that comes to sons of former great players. He used the question as a soapbox to claim that LeBron James’ sons essentially don’t stand much of a chance to emerge as basketball stars. As noted by 247 Sports, here’s the full context of the elder Ball’s quote: Here’s the thing, you gotta play the odds and the percentages,” said Ball. “There’s been a lot of great players, and all of their sons are whack.” “Kareem’s got sons, Jordan’s got sons, Shaq’s got sons.” “His son is pretty good too,” said Broussard.
“His son is alright,” Ball quickly interjected. “…the monsters in the NBA, their dads wasn’t that good. They were OK, they was players, but the fact that the old Curry wasn’t no All-Star, he wasn’t cold. He could shoot the ball though. Kobe Bryant, his dad wasn’t all that, that’s why he’s such a monster.” You got LeBron, it’s gonna be so hard for his kids, cause they gonna look at them like ‘you gotta be just like your dad.’ And after a while that pressure starts sitting on you like ‘why do I gotta be like him, why can’t I just be me?’ And then they’re gonna be like ‘aw, you’re soft, you’re not that good.’ Because the expectation is very, very high.”
During the interview, Ball also said he is prepared to package Lonzo and his two other sons — LiAngelo, a high school senior who has signed with UCLA, and LaMelo, a high school sophomore who has committed to UCLA — for a marketing deal with Nike, Adidas or Under Armour. “A billion dollars, it has to be there," Ball said. “That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years."
The Ball boys already are riding in style — at least the two that have driver’s licenses. Lonzo and LiAngelo each drive $100,000 BMWs, said Ball, who is a self-employed personal trainer and whose wife, Tina, is a middle school physical education teacher. “To get my boys a little $100,000 car, that’s nothing,’’ he said. “I don’t have to pay for education. I’m saving over $1 million dollars."
If you thought LaVar Ball sounded outrageous when he said his son Lonzo, a freshman point guard at UCLA, is better than Steph Curry, well, you haven't heard anything yet. “Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one,’’ said Ball, the 49-year-old basketball dad who is 6-6 and 270 pounds and has a mouth to match his size. The mouth was motoring during a recent interview with USA TODAY Sports while LaVar Ball stood in the kitchen of his home here, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles and heaven only knows how far from reality.
It’s worth noting that Ball played basketball for Washington State during the 1987-88 season and averaged 2.2 points, 2.3 rebounds a game before transferring to Cal-State Los Angeles in search of more playing time. Jordan, meanwhile, averaged 35 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Chicago Bulls that same season and is widely regarded as the greatest player in basketball history. “Now in a game of five-on-five, (Jordan) might do some damage, but I’m going to do some damage too,’’ Ball added.
September 17, 2021 | 5:16 pm EDT Update
The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Petr Cornelie to a two-way contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.
The word in Spanish basketball circles, as reiterated to me Friday, is that Marc Gasol is most likely to play for Girona if he decides to play on, even though the LEB Oro is one level below Spain’s top tier. I’m told he has been working out with new Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio to stay sharp even after negotiating his release earlier this week from Memphis following the Grizzlies’ recent trade with the Lakers to take on the final year of Gasol’s last NBA contract.
Ballots for the NBA’s 75th anniversary team were due back to the league office today. The league previously announced that the official list of its 75 greatest players, as selected by “a blue-ribbon panel of media, current and former players, coaches, general managers and team executives,” will be revealed in October. The voters will also be revealed — not their full individual ballots but the names of those who made the selections.
Mark Berman: New #Rockets star Jalen Green throwing out the first pitch before the Astros play Arizona.
September 17, 2021 | 3:51 pm EDT Update
After securing the arrival of Mario Hezonja, Russian team UNICS Kazan will announce soon the signing of former NBA guard OJ Mayo.
UNICS Kazan is adding one more marquee name to its roster with O.J.Mayo having a one-year deal with the Russian club. While there’s no signed contract yet, that seems to be more a formality delayed by bureaucratic reasons.
Chris Grenham: Former Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin tells me he worked out with Celtics this week. There is no training camp agreement between Boston and Goodwin yet, but there is interest from both sides. Goodwin played in 47 games with Atlanta last year, averaging 4.9 points and 2.0 assists.