Undisputed: Lonzo Ball says he isn’t worried about being targeted by NBA players
Just a few days after UCLA’s season came to an end against Kentucky in the NCAA tournament and star point guard Lonzo Ball declared for the 2017 NBA Draft, the Ball family visited “Undisputed” to talk about the Bruins’ loss, the pressure LaVar Ball has heaped upon his children, and whether LaVar Ball really could beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1.
Lonzo Ball, a projected top pick in the draft, said he has the same type of confidence as his outspoken father but prefers to let his game speak for him.
Skip Bayless: “You have set his bar high at the next level. There are a lot of players who are going to say, ‘Can’t wait for my first shot at this young man.’ ”
LaVar Ball: “And here’s the thing, take your first shot at him, but you don’t think he’s coming back? You out of your mind. Because, like I said, he was the best high school player. He became the best college player. He’s not going to get to the pros, where he’s 100 percent in, and all of a sudden say, ‘You know what? I’m cool being average.’ He wants the top spot, and that’s why I told him to be chasing Michael Jordan since he was a baby.”
Skip Bayless: “Lonzo, you’re cool with that target he painted on your back?”
Lonzo Ball: “Yeah, I’m fine with it. He’s been like this my whole life, I tell everybody that, so it’s nothing new to me.”
Lonzo Ball also reflected on UCLA’s loss against Kentucky. Ball’s family was unable to attend the game as his mother, Tina Ball, had been hospitalized.
Skip Bayless: “Was it somewhat of a distraction for you that they weren’t there, and your heart and mind could have been with your mom on that night to a certain extent.”
Lonzo Ball: “I’m not going to use that as an excuse. Obviously I would like to be with my family, but at the same time, you know, I knew it was a big game. I knew I had to come and play, and obviously I didn’t. That’s why we lost.”
Skip Bayless: “Because in the second half you disengaged, to me, when I thought you would get more aggressive the way you did in the second half against Cincinnati. You just took the game over. What was running through your head?
Lonzo Ball: “Yeah, I wanted to. That’s how I usually play — let the first half come to me and do what I have to do the second half. Unfortunately, you know, I didn’t get going, and we took the L.”