Takeaways from Lonzo Ball's letter to LaVar on The Players' Tribune
Lonzo Ball gets it now. At least, I think he gets it.
In a letter titled "To the Loudest Guy in the Gym" on the Players' Tribune, Lonzo finally gets a chance to tell the world his side of LaVar's craziness. And while there are no bombshells - c'mon, it is a letter written just a few days before Father's Day - you can see what Lonzo is doing here.
For the past few months, we have quite a lot of Lonzo's father on our TVs and across the internet making outrageous claims ranging from being able to beat Michael Jordan one-on-one to saying his son would be a Laker before the ping pong balls even had a chance to fall where they did.
Love him or hate him, LaVar has a lot to say, while Lonzo has remained mostly silent. But with Father's Day coming up, Lonzo's letter walks the fine line between the LaVar we see and the one Lonzo has grown up with:
"One of the things I admire most about you is that you don’t really care what other people think. People can have whatever opinions they want about who you are as a person, but they’ll never have all the facts. They’ll never know you like I do."
While much of the letter is what you'd expect: Lonzo reiterating that the man on TV is different - and yet, somehow the same - from the father at home. There is one bit that sticks out especially following reports that the Lakers were not impressed with Lonzo's workouts including the shape he arrived in:
"When I was in middle school, I started dreaming of one day making it to the NBA. I wanted to be a point guard, just like Magic Johnson. You agreed to show me how to get there. You made your living training athletes — you still do — so I put my trust in you. And in return, you made me put in the work.
I still have your schedule ingrained in my mind. I probably always will.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday we did weights.
Tuesday and Thursday we did pull-ups.
Then there was the hill. Oh man, that hill.
Every day, no matter what, you’d take LiAngelo and LaMelo and me around the corner from our house in Chino to run up and down that hill in the heat before bringing us back home to do sit-ups."
First of all, great name check of Magic there. Second, Lonzo might be thanking his dad for all the condition and rigorous work ethic he instilled but it's clear he's really learned how to get his message out to control the narrative.
No doubt LaVar had some hand in Lonzo being a great basketball player but let's be honest much of that was likely God-given. LaVar has in the months leading up to the draft laid a blueprint for his son on how to get his point across. And now Lonzo's doing the same in his own way.
He may not be as outspoken as his dad but make no mistake, Lonzo is his father's son and this letter is as much a statement to NBA teams as it is to LaVar.