Lonzo Ball has sparked attention for his play. He has garnered rave reviews about his passing, scoring and leadership qualities during his lone season at UCLA.
LaVar Ball has sparked attention for his self-promotion. He has launched the Big Baller Brand shoes that cost $495 a pair, has claimed he can beat Michael Jordan one-on-one and has gushed about his son’s greatness.
LaVar Ball also has maintained it’s a foregone conclusion his son will wear a purple and gold uniform. Yet, Lakers coach Luke Walton said the team will conduct more research before making its final decision for the NBA Draft on June 22. That includes the Lakers asking UCLA coach Steve Alford about LaVar Ball.
“I wouldn’t personally. But yes, somebody in our organization will,” Walton said Friday on “The Dan Patrick Show. “Absolutely.”
Walton chalked up those inquiries as part of the Lakers’ due diligence the Lakers on every prospect. So while Walton has scoured clips the scouting department has put together on each candidate for the Lakers’ No. 2 and No. 28 picks, Walton said the Lakers plan to contact every school about how each player treated people behind the scenes and how they took care of their body in the trainer’s room.
Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have generally downplayed whether LaVar Ball’s outspokenness could deter them from selecting Lonzo Ball. Instead, they have stressed they will evaluate Lonzo Ball more on his past performances, pre-draft workouts and interviews. But does LaVar Ball worry Walton?
“Not yet. When we get closer to the draft, I;m sure we’ll get a packet of information on every player we’re interested in,” Walton said. “We’ll sit down and discuss it all. But right now, I’m not concerned at all. I’m mostly concerned with which player can help us win more than 26 games the most.”