Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Lonzo’s Ball Dad Backpedals (Somewhat) After Saying His Son Will Only Play for the Lakers
LaVar Ball backpedaled somewhat late Saturday after initially dropping another doozy on the national news media regarding his son Lonzo Ball.
“All I said was that my boy is going to play for the Lakers, and I’m going to speak it into existence,” the elder Ball told ESPN on Saturday night. “I want him to be a Laker, but I wasn’t saying he’s only going to play for the Lakers.”
He added: “I’m not trying to say he won’t play for a different team. But I’d like him to play for the Lakers because it’s home, and I’d love him to learn from Magic [Johnson]. He’s the best guard ever to me, and nobody better for Lonzo to learn from than Magic Johnson.”
LaVar had initially said on the Kevin & Mike Show on SportsRadio1290, “My son will only play for the Lakers.”
LaVar Ball has made a habit of making over-the-top statements regarding his son, including recently saying that Lonzo will be better than Steph Curry.
Lonzo is currently projected as the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.
Via the Michael Carter-Williams trade from 2015, the Lakers only get to keep the pick if it lands in the top three. Otherwise, the Philadelphia 76ers get it.
Right now, the Lakers have a 46.9 percent chance of landing the pick.
With Johnson now running the Lakers’ basketball operations, the team could be more appealing for California natives like Paul George of the Pacers (a free agent in 2018) and Ball.
But ESPN’s Jay Bilas says Ball shouldn’t (and can’t really) limit himself to one team.
“Well he’s leaving out 29 teams that have a lot of money,” Bilas said on ESPN when Ball went for 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds in a 77-72 win at Arizona. “I would go wherever I’m drafted.
“He’s going to go where he’s drafted and he’ll play well for anybody.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.