Lakers, Suns Say LaVar Ball Won't Impact Lonzo's NBA Draft Stock

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2017

FILE - In this March 4, 2017, file photo, UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, right, shakes hands with his father LaVar following an NCAA college basketball game against Washington State in Los Angeles. UCLA won 77-68. LaVar Ball's Big Baller Brand unveiled a signature shoe for Lonzo Ball on May 4, 2017 with a price tag of $495 a pair. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

LaVar Ball's antics may prove of little consequence when it comes time for his son Lonzo to enter the NBA.

Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson said Thursday the team won't consider LaVar whatsoever when evaluating Lonzo ahead of the 2017 NBA draft, per ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman.

Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough took a similar stance, telling ESPN (via CBS Sports' Matt Norlander): "We evaluate the player first and foremost. Every player comes from a different family situation. It seems like LaVar has been extremely involved in Lonzo's career, and obviously he's a polarizing guy. But on the court, in terms of development, it seems like it's helped Lonzo."

There's no question LaVar's constant promotion of himself and his sons can be grating for fans, but most of his boasts are harmless and have little to no impact on his sons' careers.

At the same time, it wouldn't be surprising his LaVar's nature did give some teams pause about potentially drafting Lonzo.

LaVar already incurred the wrath of Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James when he brought up James' children and their pro prospects.

LaVar may have played the role of overbearing sports dad with the Chino Hills High School basketball team as well. When reporting on the departure of the team's head coach, Stephan Gilling, after one year, the Los Angeles TimesEric Sondheimer reported Ball and Gilling "got into a war of words at the end of the season."

In an interview with For The Win's Andrew Joseph, Gilling detailed how LaVar undermined him in front of the Chino Hills players.

Lonzo averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists a game as a freshman for the UCLA Bruins. He's one of the best players in the 2017 draft class.

While LaVar is unlikely to cost his son any draft position, it wouldn't be surprising if the team that selects Lonzo takes steps to ensure LaVar takes a less active role in his son's career compared to his involvement with Chino Hills.


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