Some NBA players have already stated that incoming prospect Lonzo Ball will have a target on his back when he arrives in the league, in part because of the incredible Ball family hype machine his outspoken father LaVar has created.
During an appearance on the Road Trippin Podcast, Cavaliers superstar Kyrie Irving offered some advice to Lonzo Ball: do your own thing.
Kyrie Irving: LaVar Ball has to let go of his son
“At the end of the day, he still is going into another world that you can’t control. I’m sorry, LaVar, you’re not going to be in every hotel room that Lonzo’s going to be in. You’re not going to be everywhere, part of his life as he continues to grow up.
"You’ve got to let go. He’s 19 years old.
"… He’s got to let Lonzo be Lonzo for the long [run.] I had to have a talk with my dad, and I was just like ‘Dad, I love you but I’m going to make my own decisions.’
"And he told me when I turn 18, I’m responsible enough for myself to make my own decisions. And he’s going to be there to help me along the way, but when I turn 18… like I got my first tattoo, I got my ear pierced. I just started doingmy own thing.”
LaVar may bother us more than he bothers Lonzo
“I agree with everything Kyrie says, but what Kyrie says, what I say, what a lot of people have relayed to LaVar… it only matters what LaVar is saying, and what Lonzo’s willing to do.
"At this point right now, it seems like LaVar is not backing off and Lonzo is comfortable. Maybe it bothers us more than it bothers Lonzo.
"Because [if] you ask him, he says ‘this has been my father for 19 years. So what you’re hearing is nothing new to me. So maybe it bothers the outside world more than it bothers Lonzo.”
Lonzo has to become his own man eventually
“But, for me, take basketball out of the equation. I’m think in order for Lonzo to be the man that he wants to become and needs to become, he’s going to have to get some individuality to this. He can’t have his dad making all the decisions.
"And right now, he seems to be comfortable with that. You see some players, professional athletes, they’ll move their parents in with them, or they’ll move in with their parents. Jeff Teague went back to Indiana and he’s staying in his parents’ basement.
"… Maybe that’s a comfort level, that they say ‘I want my mom and dad around, and it’s going to be a lot easier for me.”
Lonzo's old enough to take ownership
“I think it would be better served if Lonzo starts to take some ownership.
"Not only of his game, but of his life. Of being an adult. He’s not a kid anymore."
James SnookJames Snook-USA TODAY Sports
You may not like him, but LaVar has clearly succeeded in marketing his family
“Big picture, what continues to amaze me is that everyone has an opinion of LaVar Ball. This also includes the superstar that plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers - not LeBron James, but their closer, Kyrie Irving.
"Kyrie, you can hear in his voice. He’s really into it, it’s very emotional for him.”