Tags: gonzo ball | la lakers | lavar ball | nba | draft

Lonzo Ball (and Dad?) Picked by LA Lakers

Image: Lonzo Ball (and Dad?) Picked by LA Lakers

Lonzo Ball (UCLA) is introduced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number two overall pick to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

By    |   Friday, 23 Jun 2017 11:17 AM

Lonzo Ball was drafted No. 2 in the NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, but his father LaVar Ball did most of the talking, which was not a surprise to those who've followed the deft-shooting guard and his irrepressible dad.

LaVar Ball had long predicted that his son, who starred at UCLA this past collegiate basketball season and led the nation in assists, would be selected by the Lakers, in one of his many colorful quotes.

"I told you. From the words of Zeus, Jesus, everybody said he gonna be a Laker," LaVar Ball told broadcasters before the draft started, according to USA Today.

When the Lakers made it official, LaVar Ball claimed that he made his purple and gold hat when his son was a baby.

"I'm trying to tell you, I knew this was happening before it was happening," LaVar Ball said.

He also predicted that Lonzo Ball would lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the playoffs his first year. The Lakers have not been to the playoffs in the last four years, the franchise's longest playoff drought ever.

True controversy over LaVar Ball's handling of his son's NBA future hit an apex in April, ESPN reported. The elder Ball confirmed that Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour all walked away from offering a shoe and apparel contract for his son when they refused to do a co-branding contract with Ball's own Big Baller shoe brand, ESPN noted.

"We've said from the beginning, we aren't looking for an endorsement deal," LaVar Ball told ESPN then. "We're looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they're not ready for that because they're not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn't ready for Uber, either."

That led Nike consultant George Raveling to call LaVar Ball "the worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years," per ESPN.

LaVar Ball rolled out his own shoe for his son during the draft, retailing for $495.

Hall of Fame basketball player Magic Johnson, who is new president of basketball operations for the Lakers, said last month that he would not let such controversies dissuade the team from picking Lonzo Ball and held true to his world in Thursday's draft.

"I think what you're drafting is the son and not the father," Johnson told ESPN in May. "I think that you also are gauging and evaluating his son on his ability and what he can do not only on the basketball court but also what he can do for your team. How he can enhance and make your team better."

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Lonzo Ball was drafted No. 2 in the NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, but his father LaVar Ball did most of the talking, which was not a surprise to those who've followed the deft-shooting guard and his irrepressible dad.
gonzo ball, la lakers, lavar ball, nba, draft
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2017-17-23
Friday, 23 Jun 2017 11:17 AM
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