“Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow,” LaVar Ball said. “I told Lonzo – ‘One of these games you might need to go for 30 or 40 points.’ It turned out the that was the one game. Then once they get to the Elite 8, they’re right there.”
A day after LeBron James told him to "keep my kids' name out of your mouth," LaVar Ball doubled down on his opinion that the children of star athletes don't themselves become star athletes. "I gave an opinion on what I felt about no superstars' kids really being superstars and the fact that they have to live up to their parents or to their fathers or whatever. I have yet to see one, and I've been around for 50 years," Ball said in an interview with SiriusXM's "Full Ride" on Wednesday. "Have you seen one where the superstar's son is just as good or better than him? I said a superstar. I ain't saying just a regular player. I'm talking about a guy who we picture as an icon -- a Dr. J, an Allen Iverson, a LeBron James. If somebody asks me a question, I'm gonna give them an answer."
Not content to just reiterate his point, Ball also went on the offensive against James on Wednesday. "I don't care what LeBron said," Ball said. "He talking about he warned me. He warned me for what? What is a warning going to do? Nothing."
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 18, 2021 | 2:39 am EDT Update
The Bulls’ offseason overhaul couldn’t have come at a better time, as Zach LaVine is on the final year of his contract with an extension yet to be signed. But if it were up to LaVine himself, he’s reportedly all-in on staying in the Windy City. That’s according to ESPN Chicago radio analyst David Kaplan, who’s heard from sources that the All-Star doesn’t want to go anywhere. Via ESPN 1000 FM: “He has told people that I know: ‘Hey man, if they want me here, I’m not going anywhere. I’m building this thing. I’m the first guy in the door. I wanna be part of this.’”
Is KAT’s trade value at all impacted by missing the playoffs yet again? If a Simmons deal can’t get done, would you think about trading him now, considering the likelihood that you may need to next offseason? — @JWeAnd1 Definitely no interest in trading him now. Towns will have plenty of value for the foreseeable future, barring a big injury. This is a big season. I think there will be more clarity, positive or negative, when 2021-22 concludes. Then the Wolves can make a real decision on how best to move forward. But Towns remains a focal point right now. That’s not changing anytime soon.
Morey will be in a similar position to Thibs in that rival executives will try to back him into a corner and wait for things to get really uncomfortable with Simmons, thereby driving down the asking price. But Morey is much more experienced in front office work than was Thibodeau, a coach to his core who had not yet started his third season as the lead decision-maker. Those around the league believe that if there is any executive able to stomach the circus that is sure to descend upon Philly, to block out the noise that comes with this kind of drama, it’s Morey.
Ben Simmons trade buzz has been one of the offseason’s hottest storylines, but president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and the 76ers have yet to pull the trigger in a deal involving the 25-year-old three-time All-Star. Will the Aussie wear the 76ers’ red, white and blue to start the season? By a wide margin, our panel’s vote projects Simmons to remain in Philly — at least until the season tips off on Oct. 19. 1. Philadelphia 76ers: 45%
Despite the on-paper match, ESPN’s NBA insider Zach Lowe took to his podcast to say there’s a slim chance of that actually happening due to the Clippers’ lack of interest in Russell Westbrook when he was available: “The Clippers were never interested in Russell Westbrook. They were a rumored Russell Westbrook trade in a few places whenever that happened. They were never interested. That was never a real thing. I think they value their optionality too much.” Lowe ultimately concluded, “I just don’t see it,” because, like Westbrook, Wall is over 30 and has a massive contract — $44 million due this season and a player option the following season for over $47 million.
The Philadelphia 76ers earn the top spot for Team Turmoil, as our experts predict which teams will be surrounded by the most drama this season. While the Ben Simmons saga lingers in Philly, the Lakers could share in the dramatics, as head coach Frank Vogel will have to incorporate former MVP Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony along with five former Laker alums. 1. Philadelphia 76ers: 61 points (55.0% first-place votes)