Video: LaVar Ball Calls Lonzo 'Damaged Goods' in Talk About Big Baller Brand

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2019

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2018, file photo, LaVar Ball is interviewed after a basketball game in Prienai, Lithuania. LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball are leaving their Lithuania team by mutual agreement. BC Prienu Vytautas on Thursday, April 26, 2018, announced the departure of the younger brothers of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball. Lithuanian basketball writer Donatas Urbonas says on Twitter that father LaVar Ball told him he was upset over LaMelo's diminished playing time. (AP Photo/Liusjenas Kulbis, File)
Liusjenas Kulbis/Associated Press

As a professional athlete, Lonzo Ball probably wouldn't bat an eye at someone calling him "damaged goods" after his first two NBA seasons were mired by injuries.

His father, on the other hand? That's a very different story.  

In a heated discussion about the future of Big Baller Brand, LaVar Ball referred to Lonzo as "damaged goods" when Lonzo suggested changing the name.

"When I come out with a name and then somebody tells me to change it, that's like me telling me to change your name. That's like people saying 'Oh, hey, change Lonzo's name to Alfonzo on the fact that he been damaged goods for the last two years,'" LaVar said on Ball in the Family.

Now is probably a good time to note that this comment was made as part of a reality television program. While we would never besmirch the good name of reality television by saying it is scripted, it's possible the comment was made to enhance the drama of the moment and bring eyeballs to Ball in the Family.

Taken at face value, though, it's both a harsh and fully accurate assessment of Lonzo's standing in the NBA. Lonzo has played in only 99 of a possible 164 games through two NBA seasons. The player once deemed as a potential record-breaker in Lakers lore was instead shipped as part of a package for Anthony Davis—and arguably was not even the centerpiece of that deal.

Two years removed from being the No. 2 pick, calling him damaged goods is certainly a fair point. That said, it's eye-opening to hear the source say the words because LaVar has consistently been Lonzo's biggest public backer. 

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