The Lakers had an extra visitor Wednesday as Larry Nance Sr. stopped by practice and observed his son, Larry Jr.
Nance, who played in the NBA for 13 seasons, watched practice wearing a team hat, which he said was an adjustment from his days facing the Lakers while playing for Phoenix in the 1980s.
“They were always a tough team that came through and beat the crap out of us all the time,” said Nance, who recalled chasing James Worthy and guarding Magic Johnson as well as Lakers coach Byron Scott’s shooting prowess.
The feelings faded when Nance Jr. was drafted by the Lakers in the summer and as he has begun carving out a role in his rookie year, the elder Nance became a proud father now cheering for an old rival.
“As long as he continues to work hard and improve, he’ll be successful,” Nance Sr. said.
He also added that his son already has a plan for the Slam Dunk Contest if he chooses to follow in the footsteps of his father, who won the NBA’s inaugural contest in 1984.
“He said that he would pull me out in a wheelchair, place me under the basket and dunk on me,” Nance Sr. said.