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Although he doesn’t participate in intense sparring — “Obviously, [the Trail Blazers] would never really approve it,” he said — Lillard once toyed with the idea of participating in an exhibition bout. Former NBA guard Nate Robinson’s stunning knockout loss to YouTube sensation Jake Paul last November on the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. undercard isn’t the reason Lillard gave up that idea, but it certainly didn’t help. “I feel like he got in there really feeling like he could win, but I don’t think boxing is a sport you can take six months or eight months and be like ‘all right, I’m gonna go in here and fight,'” Lillard said.
They wait, and wait. A technical glitch causes the interview to be ditched, and nobody — especially not Lonzo or LiAngelo — seems bothered. LaVar, quiet no longer, is accepting congratulations and telling the room, “Tell MJ: Here we come! Tell MJ we’re coming!” LaVar punctuates his proclamations by raising both arms in the air. Michael Jordan, the man LaVar famously claimed he could beat in a one-on-one, is the owner of the Hornets and now his son’s boss. LaVar tells me the world might finally get to see that one-on-one, but first he has to discuss the business side with Jordan: pay-per-view, guaranteed money, that kind of thing. He laughs and says, “Hey, if people are willing to pay to see 50-year-old Mike Tyson fight, why not?” He likes the idea of Jordan guiding his son. “Greatness recognizes greatness,” he says. “I always told my boys, ‘Someone has to be better than the best — why not you?'”
Storyline: LaVar Ball Quotes