Former UCLA guard Lonzo Ball will likely be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. Whatever team nabs that first pick won’t just be bringing on Ball’s talent. That team will have to deal with Ball’s outspoken father, LaVar.
It’s somewhat of an unfair situation for the younger Ball. He can’t tell his father what to do. And he really can’t call out his pops in public. Despite this, the narrative will intermix Ball with his divisive dad.
In this, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Channing Frye has come to the conclusion that it will be easy to hate Ball once he makes that transition to the NBA official.
“I’m going to give you the people’s opinion,” Frye said on teammate Richard Jefferson’s podcast. “No matter what he does, it is going to be so easy to hate on (Lonzo) now. It’s going to be disgustingly easy to hate on him.”
It doesn’t take much for sports fans to turn on athletes. Look at the reaction Kevin Durant received when he bolted Oklahoma City for Golden State. Should LaVar keep up spouting off, fans will surely take note. So will fellow NBA players.
“When he (LaVar) starts going off and saying, ‘I could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one,’ and … he compared Lonzo to Uber and taxi, come on. Just relax a little bit,” Frye said. “Take a step back and realize the impact that you can make, not for the moment now, but for the future. Lonzo is going to be in the NBA regardless. But at the end of the day, he still is going into another world that you can’t control.”
It’s a unique situation for Lonzo. While he will be the first pick in this summer’s draft, the expectation is that the guard won’t necessarily see stardom immediately. After all, he did play just one season at UCLA. With the youngster’s likely struggles, the hope is that his father and others Lonzo have no control over don’t get into his head.