UCLA point guard and super freshman or “Diaper Dandy” as Dick Vitale has referred to them for years, Lonzo Ball is, by any measure, one of the top three prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft.
He is a 6’6″ playmaking point guard with the sort of size, court vision and general basketball I.Q. and awareness that hearkens back to the likes of Jason Kidd or even Magic Johnson.
Here are some highlights from Ball’s performance against the University of Washington a few weeks ago and fellow top prospect and super freshman Markelle Fultz:
Most teams near the top of the lottery are chomping at the bit to draft a player with Ball’s potential, but one thing is giving some organizations pause: Lonzo’s father Lavar Ball.
Here are some of the things that Lavar has said about his son in recent weeks:
That his son was already as good as two-time reigning MVP Steph Curry, and then when questioned about it during a game by reporters on national television, clarified by saying that Lonzo is already better than Steph Curry.
— SportsNewsLive (@SNL_AllDay) February 26, 2017
He continued to say “Put Steph Curry on UCLA and put my son on the Warriors and watch what happens.”
Lavar then followed that statement up this weekend by telling reporters that Lonzo would only be playing in purple and gold once he enters the NBA.
ICYMI: "I want him to be a Laker, but I wasn't saying he's only going to play for the Lakers." –LaVar Ball https://t.co/xF3EFObWV1
— ESPN (@espn) February 26, 2017
Ball is a supremely gifted young player and is averaging 15-7-6 on 54 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from the three point line this season (even with his ugly shot) and could very well develop into an NBA superstar. He could be drafted by the Lakers, who project to have a top three pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, but if his father continues to insert himself into his son’s career and make bold statements and proclamations about his son before he ever steps foot on an NBA court he could derail his son’s potential.
Comments like this are why multiple NBA executives have told me they are concerned with Lonzo Ball's father. https://t.co/zp2MUtZvx2
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) February 26, 2017
We’ll see how the situation progresses, but whichever franchise drafts Lonzo Ball this June needs to keep Lavar Ball as far away from the team as possible.