LaVar Ball: Lonzo, LaMelo, LiAngelo All Making NBA Like Winning Lottery 3 Times

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 18, 2021

LaVar Ball watches the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 123-113. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

LaVar Ball, the father of professional basketball players Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, spoke with Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times on a host of topics ranging from Big Baller Brand, the family's experience in Chino Hills, California, and more.

Ball also described what it felt like to see all three of his sons land NBA contracts in response to a question about whether he felt people in Chino Hills had celebrated LaMelo's recent success as a star rookie on the Charlotte Hornets.

"People have embraced the success of the Balls because it's like I said before, there's nothing about Chino Hills but some cows. But to create the boys I have, all three of them went to the NBA, that's crazy. It's like winning the lottery three times. Nobody gonna do that, but I already had a game plan of what I was gonna do and it was just growing from there and I knew what the big thing was, just like as I even told them, the year Melo came to Chino Hills, I tried to talk to the staff and everything and said, 'Man, you guys going to need some more policemen, some more this.

"All of the games are going to be sold out.' I'm saying this before the season even started and then that s--t grew into a wildfire just like I said. So now it's funny because at one time you've got to get all these passes and all this stuff to get ABC or ESPN on the campus. And then soon as they start interviewing they wasn't saying Chino Hills no more, they was saying the Ball boys, they wasn't even saying the school no more. We was bigger than the school. Now they're opening the gates for ESPN, ABC, CBS, they doing all that now."

LaMelo has been one of the NBA's most entertaining, must-watch players this season. He has averaged 19.5 points on 46.3 percent shooting (43.3 percent from three-point range), 6.4 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game since entering the Hornets starting lineup on Feb. 1. The 20-19 Hornets have gone 11-8 with Ball in the starting five one year after the team went just 23-42.

He's the undisputed favorite for the 2020-21 NBA Rookie of the Year award and positioned the Hornets in fifth place in the Eastern Conference at the moment.

Lonzo's 17-23 Pelicans aren't doing as well, but the team would have a bright future with him, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram should the team stick together.

Lonzo has also been solid of late, averaging 15.0 points and 6.9 assists per game since Feb. 17. He also notched a career-high 17 assists against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. He's at the helm of a Pels team that plays an exciting, high-scoring brand of basketball, although defensive struggles have limited their success.

The Detroit Pistons signed LiAngelo to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal last December and invited him to training camp. He was waived before playing in a preseason game. LiAngelo also signed with the Oklahoma City Blue (the G League affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder) as a practice player in December 2019.