De'Aaron Fox Says His Motivation in Sweet 16 vs. UCLA Was to Shut LaVar Ball Up

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2017

Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox heads to the basket during the second half of a second-round game against Wichita State in the men's NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Indianapolis. Kentucky won 65-62. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Kentucky guard De'Aaron Fox had the best game of his college career in the Sweet 16 against Lonzo Ball and UCLA. Apparently, one of his primary motivations was to quiet the biggest talker in the team's corner. 

When asked about his 39-point effort against the Bruins, Fox said he wanted to "shut Lavar Ball up," per Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated.

"In the last year, he became relevant for some reason," he said of Lonzo Ball's father, Lavar. "When I knew Lonzo in high school, I'd never seen his dad before. He went crazy this year. I guess when your son a lottery pick, that gives you a lot of confidence."

While UCLA topped Kentucky during the regular season, Fox helped avenge the loss in the NCAA tournament with 39 points on 13-of-20 shooting as part of an 86-75 Wildcats win. He was also the primary defender on Ball while holding him to just 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field.

Now the two will battle as individuals while trying to be taken as early as possible in the 2017 NBA draft.

Although Markelle Fultz is widely expected to be the first overall pick to the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers are doing their due diligence with the second pick. Ball went in for a second workout this week, but the team also hosted Fox.

No matter where these two top prospects land, this rivalry of elite point guards appears to just be getting started.