LaVar Ball on Lonzo’s de­but: ‘His worst game ever’

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

It took basketball prospect Lonzo Ball 20 sec­onds to get a nearca­pac­ity crowd off its feet in his first sum­mer league game. Just like LaVar taught him. Ball’s highly an­tic­i­pated Los An­ge­les Lak­ers de­but on Fri­day night started with a flour­ish on a per­fectly timed lob pass to Bran­don In­gram. But that was one of the few bright spots for a player Magic John­son has dubbed as the new face of the Lak­ers in a 96-93 over­time loss to the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers. The No. 2 over­all draft pick scored just five points and missed 13 of his 15 shots, to the dis­ap­point­ment of a near-ca­pac­ity crowd that came out to see him. Leave it to his fa­ther to sum up the night with some of his trade­mark straight talk.

“He don’t be dis­cour­aged be­cause that’s the worst he can do,” LaVar Ball said. “He can’t go but up. And he still kept them in the game play­ing his worst game ever. That’s what I like about it.” Lonzo Ball was 1 for 11 from 3-point range, in­clud­ing a bad miss from well be­yond the line - the kind of dar­ing pullup the Ball fam­ily is known for - with 1:16 to play in reg­u­la­tion.

He was also a lit­tle slow to react on de­fense, in­clud­ing when Brice John­son made a quick spin past him for a dunk. The Clip­pers posted the high­light on their Twit­ter ac­count, call­ing it a “pretty baller move.” That’s the kind of tar­get that LaVar’s an­tics have painted on his son’s back. And it’s much big­ger than the pur­ple No. 2 un­der his name.

“Tough game. We didn’t get the job done,” Lonzo Ball said. “I need to be bet­ter.” Scouts do won­der how that un­ortho­dox shoot­ing stroke will trans­late to the NBA game. What is not up for de­bate is the Lak­ers’ re­turn to must-see sta­tus with the pass-first point guard on the trig­ger and his car­ni­val barker fa­ther on the mic.

While LaVar Ball has dropped hints that he could tone down the bom­bas­tic com­ments and un­end­ing mar­ket­ing of his Big Baller Brand ap­parel that turned him into an in­ter­net vil­lain of sorts dur­ing Lonzo’s lone sea­son at UCLA, he was to­tally in char­ac­ter for his son’s de­but.

“The Lak­ers fans are com­ing and my boy is gonna bring ‘em out,” LaVar Ball crowed at half­time. “Be­cause there’s ex­cite­ment for the game. It’s entertainment. That boy is go­ing to en­ter­tain. He’s been do­ing it all his life.”

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