As the Golden State Warriors have shown in two of the last three seasons – and during their 73-win season in 2016 – team success in the NBA is about ball movement, court vision, and unselfishness. That makes Lonzo Ball, the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft, pretty much perfect for today’s NBA game.
LaVar Ball said that’s not an accident. In fact, he said he raised Lonzo to play that exact style.
“When you’re a point guard, you ain’t measured by no stats. You ain’t measured by no one-on-one. You’re only measured by the victories and the wins, the championships,” LaVar said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “But there’s a lot of people out there (who say), ‘Forget the team. I got to get mine. I got to be the highest-paid (player), I got to be the best this, I got to do all this.’ He about that winning, and he’s been like that since he been a baby.”
Rather than stacking Lonzo’s teams with talent, LaVar took the opposite approach.
“I always had him on the worst teams ever,” LaVar said. “I said, ‘If you can win with these teams, you’re a monster. I can give you the best team and (if) you win with that, you’re supposed to win. But see if you can uplift everybody else to make you win.’ He’s been like that all his life, so this is no new pressure to him or nothing like that.”
Lonzo, who starred at UCLA, will be tasked with turning around the Lakers, who haven’t won even 30 games since 2013. But Lonzo won’t stop the bleeding by becoming like Kobe Bryant, a ball-dominant scorer. Instead, he’ll do it by playing the way he’s always played: pass-first, team-first basketball.
In hindsight, it’s interesting that LaVar didn’t raise Lonzo to emulate Bryant, the local legend and worldwide icon.
“I went a different direction because I know how the game is played,” LaVar said. “I been watching the game for a long time. I’m not going nobody else’s way but my own. So the vision that I put in my boys, it’s what I give them.”
Switching gears, LaVar also discussed his Facebook show, Ball in The Family, which gives fans an intimate look at the Balls.
“Oh, man it’s fun,” LaVar said. “It’s easy. We know what each other’s about, so it doesn’t bother us like other people. We don’t have to put on an act. They just follow us with the cameras. That’s all. It ain’t no big deal. If you’re fake, you got to act a certain way, but you only can do that for so long. Then the realness comes out. So it’s easy for us. It’s not no pressure. It’s not like ‘all eyes on us.’ We’re not doing nothing reckless.”