LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, said Wednesday his son will lead the Lakers to at least 50 wins and a four-game series split with the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors during the 2017-18 regular season.
Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog passed along the latest over-the-top proclamation the Ball family patriarch made during an appearance on ESPN's First Take.
LaVar has become notorious for making outlandish statements to generate attention. The most notable example came in March when he told Josh Peter of USA Today: "Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one."
The Lakers, who finished last season 26-56, should be better during the upcoming campaign as their roster of young players matures. That said, nearly doubling their win total feels like a massive stretch.
Rob Trites of OddsShark noted the over-under total for Los Angeles' victories was set at 32.5, the sixth-lowest amount in the league.
LaVar's latest prediction goes back to a comment an NBA executive made to Sean Deveney of Sporting News during the draft process.
"It doesn't help, all this stuff with his father," an unnamed general manager said. "I don't know what is gained for the kid by putting that much pressure on him. Nobody from the league has been meeting with [Lonzo Ball] or anything, but that is going to be another thing to look at when it comes to due diligence before the draft. How does he handle his dad, is it just something he laughs about, or is it real pressure on him?"
Lonzo displayed flashes of immense potential during the Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged 16.3 points, 9.3 assists and 7.7 rebounds across six games, but he shot just 38.2 percent from the field.
For the Lakers to come anywhere close to 50 wins, he'll need to force his way beyond the Rookie of the Year conversation and into the Most Valuable Player discussion, which is far-fetched for a first-year player.