Channing Frye Says LaVar Ball Makes It 'Disgustingly Easy to Hate On' Lonzo

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2017

UCLA guard Lonzo Ball (2) leaves the court after UCLA lost to Kentucky in an NCAA college basketball tournament South Regional semifinal game Friday, March 24, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Channing Frye said on his podcast that LaVar Ball's public persona will make it "disgustingly easy" to dislike Lonzo Ball in the NBA.

"I'm going to give you the people's opinion," Frye said on Road Trippin' with RJ and Channing(via Des Bieler of the Washington Post). "No matter what he does, it is going to be so easy to hate on [Lonzo] now.

"It's going to be disgustingly easy to hate on him."

Lonzo Ball is considered by most one of the two best prospects in the 2017 NBA draft class, alongside Markelle Fultz of Washington.

From a basketball perspective, it's nearly impossible to ignore Ball's potential. He's a 6'6" point guard with above-average athleticism, a preternatural passing gift and a three-point stroke that went in at a 41.2 percent rate—despite an unorthodox shot. After taking UCLA to the Sweet 16, Ball has basically the perfect resume for a top overall selection.

That said, his name has been in the news more lately because of the antics/outlandish nature of his father. LaVar Ball has spent the last few months on the press junket, doing everything from comparing himself/his son to Michael Jordan, to engaging in a yell-fest with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN, to hawking his Big Baller Brand merchandise everywhere.

LaVar Ball has, at times, managed to overshadow the talent of his son—something some NBA teams will likely look at negatively. 

"I think from my perspective, everyone that looks at his situation that I've kind of been around or talked basketball with, they look at the kid with almost—pity is not the right word—but just like, 'Man, that situation just looks off,'" Richard Jefferson said on the podcast.

"If this kid was talking the way his dad was talking, oh, then it would be a whole ‘nother world," Jefferson continued. "It would be a whole 'nother, 'Oh, yeah, we’re going to baptize this kid.' But you see … a guy that just plays hard and passes the ball. And he's young, but he's compared to [Jason] Kidd and has this high level of basketball IQ just off his instincts. As a basketball player, you're a fan of that. That's a guy that you would want on your team."

It's likely the sentiments espoused by Jefferson and Frye represent those of many NBA players. That's the unfortunate reality of this situation. LaVar Ball's words, despite their supposed well-meaning intention, have cast a massive spotlight on his son before he's even played an NBA game. 


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