Outspoken, big mouth father knows he could top Duke basketball legend

Duke basketball players Zion Williamson and Jordan Goldwire (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball players Zion Williamson and Jordan Goldwire (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Lavar Ball is back in the media, and the outspoken father thinks he could take down a Duke basketball legend if he was back in his prime.

The sports world became acquainted with Lavar Ball during the 2016-17 season of college basketball when his son, Lonzo, starred for the UCLA Bruins.

Ball found his way to a microphone any way he could, which eventually led to the creation of his own business, Big Baller Brand, that has fallen flat on its face, then the poor play and gigantic spotlight on his son, who was selected by his hometown Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

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(Not to mention former Blue Devil Jayson Tatum was the No. 3 overall pick in the same draft and just made his first All-Star Game appearance in his third season).

Lonzo Ball was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in the blockbuster that sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers, but Lavar Ball has dialed down his tone about Lonzo and now is focused on his youngest son, LaMelo.

LaMelo Ball is projected to be a top pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft, as some mock drafts have him being the No. 1 overall pick.

LaMelo did not play in college, rather spending his time overseas after his father just about ruined any chance the NBA prospect had at a collegiate career.

With sports on a hiatus and people craving something to talk about, Lavar Ball made an appearance on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast to talk about LaMelo’s potential in the NBA among other things.

Satirical high-profile hosts Big Cat and PFT Commenter posed Ball with the laughable hypothetical of him playing against Zion Williamson in a one-on-one game, which fed right into Ball’s wheelhouse.

"“Stop it! I’d murder that boy. He too small, he too slow. I’m way too fast for that boy, he a youngster, man. My prime time, I would kill him. I was just too strong and too fast.” – Lavar Ball"

This is not the first time Ball has compared himself, or his sons, to the capabilities of the 2019 No. 1 overall pick, who is now teammates with his oldest son Lonzo on the Pelicans.

Lavar Ball played one season of college basketball at Washington State, in which he averaged 2.2 points per game and also tried to carve out a career in the NFL, making practice squad stops with the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers, but he never played in an actual game.

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In comparison, Zion Williamson is averaging 23.6 points per game in 19 total NBA contests with a 58.9 percent field goal percentage and is shooting at a 46.2 percent clip from 3-point range, not to mention his rebounding and assist numbers.

Prior to last June’s NBA Draft, Lavar Ball was asked about his middle son, LiAngelo ‘Gelo’ Ball, on the Maybe I’m Crazy podcast, which is named appropriately for Ball who had this to say:

"“First of all, Zion 18. He got 18-year old strength. Gelo’s 20. He got 20-year old strength, especially that Ball strength. If your game is strength and I take that away from you, and you can’t shoot, Zion’s not shooting like Gelo, and he don’t have no post moves. He’s just running over people. When you get to the NBA, he going to get ready to go through that lane, and those guys like to jump in the way and take them charges. Then when you have three or four fouls, you can’t even play your game no more.” – Lavar Ball"

LiAngelo Ball was also on the UCLA basketball team, one year after Lonzo, but left the program without playing a game after being charged of robbery on a preseason trip to China. Ball was suspended indefinitely from the team before making the decision to leave the school entirely.

LiAngelo did not get drafted in 2018 and just signed a contract with the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA G-League but has not appeared in a game since the league’s temporary suspension due to COVID-19.

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Going back to Williamson’s one season at Duke, in which he swept the National Player of the Year awards, the forward averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest while shooting 68.0 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from deep.

There is no comparison of Zion Williamson to anyone in the Ball family, but it will be interesting to see how much Lavar Ball keeps his big mouth open leading up to the 2020 NBA Draft, in which many think LaMelo Ball has the potential to be a very good player in The Association.