LaVar Ball has a reputation for making controversial statements. He lived up to that reputation on Tuesday, throwing some shade at Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and now former team president Magic Johnson.
Speaking on Undisputed, Ball claimed that in a closed door meeting, Johnson and Pelinka told him that his son, LiAngelo Ball, would at least get an opportunity with the Lakers. He also claimed that some of Pelinka’s draft picks were taken because of favors he owed from his days as an agent.
Some of Ball’s claims have been pretty outlandish. These are a little less so — but still pretty out there.
The idea that a GM, especially a former agent, would draft players as a favor is not unfathomable. Still, it has to be said that the Lakers have been picking high in the draft every year for a while. Heck, Lonzo Ball was taken second overall. It’s plausible that picks may be made a favor later in the first round or in the second. The draft is generally a crap shoot at that point, anyway. But high in the lottery? That’s a little harder to believe.
As far as Pelinka and Magic promising a tryout to LiAngelo. LaVar’s claims aren’t totally unbelievable. Heading into the 2018 Draft, however, LiAngelo was never viewed as a particularly strong draft prospect by anyone outside of his immediate family.
That said, it would explain how LiAngelo felt that he’d end up with the Lakers long after they didn’t draft him.