Nick reveals how LaVar Ball’s bombastic behavior has and will continue to help Lonzo on the Lakers
Nick Wright, Danny Kanell and Jenna Wolfe discuss the impact that LaVar Ball's eccentric and often bombastic behavior has had on his son Lonzo and how that will help him in the NBA moving forward on the Los Angeles Lakers.
- The question is, is he making his life harder in the NBA? Somewhat, sure. But I think it's for the good. I think that it will make Lonzo a better player just like everything LaVar has done it would appear has helped make Lonzo a better player. Like, look-- go ahead, Joanna.
- Up until now. Up until now. Now you three, four games in, every guard is gunning for you. Every guard goes into a game saying, if I do nothing else, I'm going to shut this kid down. There's no way you're going to tell me that makes him better.
- Because that was Phoenix. Like, that's basically an extension--
- So those guys didn't know?
- No, they're not as equipped to do. Like, they're not that good.
- But you're now starting to hear it.
- So Lonzo is one of the two best players on the Lakers, right? So without his father, people would not try to shut him down?
- Those fathers, they come into the game.
- I would say-- because the NBA, to me, let's just say the defensive end of the court is not as intense in the regular season as in the playoffs. But what you're seeing, if you're Lonzo now, is everybody's intensity level is bumped up, where they have a goal now. Again, Patrick Beverley--
- But that's good for him.
- Why? He gets exposed like he did in the opening night.
- OK, Patrick Beverly is one of the best defensive players. Not only is he one of the best defensive players in the NBA, he's the single best defensive point guard in the NBA. I lived in Houston, covered him when he got to the Rockets until I moved to Los Angeles. Beverly plays with that intensity every night. Like, Patrick Beverly is insane in that regard. Now, we'll see if John Wall, who is an OK defender, has the ability to be a great defender. He's never really exhibited that. How much effort he really gives on the defensive end tonight, I'll be curious to see it.
But look, listen, LaVar Ball is eccentric. LaVar Ball loves attention. LaVar Ball is clearly marketing his company and his son's company for using our network, ESPN, all the networks to help enrich his family. LaVar Ball is also clearly a spectacular father. And LaVar Ball raised three boys who he decided when they were small children, seven, eight, nine years old, these three boys are all going to be pro athletes.
- I don't know. I don't know. I don't think the younger ones have anywhere near the upside that Lonzo has.
- OK, I'm not I'm not saying he made them into pro athletes. What I'm saying is, he decided this is what I'm going to do. What that work has resulted in all three having full rides to UCLA. That's about a million of net worth in gain.
- But Nick, what else has he done? The middle son might not be able to play UCLA. The younger kid--
- The middle son, all he ended up with was a full athletic scholarship to one of the best schools in the country.
- And now he's already selling shoes. So--
- Yeah, I guess. I don't know. I guess-- listen, I have a son. If I could make him a millionaire before he finished high school-- which he did for LaMelo, who's the one you're talking about, LaMelo, who is one of the top five kids in his class. So his oldest son was the second pick of the draft and was one of the top kids coming out of school. His middle son probably has the least natural athletic ability, still as a full ride scholarship to UCLA. His youngest son is one of the top five kids in high school class, full athletic scholarship to UCLA. For all--
- Which he probably won't even be able to use, because he's going to start selling shoes and having--
- Listen, I think that is-- and I've talked about in regards to LaMelo, it does concern me about whether or not he's going to be able to play college basketball. I understand that. But the we criticize-- one of our favorite American tropes is the absentee black father. This is as invested, as dedicated, as involved as a father possibly-- did you guys see what Scott Brooks said yesterday? Scott Brooks, who coaches. John Wall, he coaches the Washington Wizards, on LaVar, my father left me two. I would love to have my father around like LaVar is around and talk to him, pump me up with confidence. To me, that's every son's dream and for some reason he gets criticized.