It’s kind of hard to believe this now, but back in early February, most people still didn’t have any idea who LaVar Ball was. But that all changed when he did an interview with TMZ Sports—wearing one of his now-ubiquitous Big Baller Brand shirts—and revealed that he thought his son Lonzo was going to be better than Steph Curry one day. "You can’t compare my boy to anyone," LaVar said. "He’s gonna be better than Steph Curry in the NBA!"
LaVar’s prediction was so over the top and unexpected that it immediately caught fire online and got his name out there like never before. Within just weeks, he was trading shots with LeBron James, saying he could beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1, and making regular appearances on ESPN and FS1.
On Wednesday night, Lonzo and Curry played against one another for the first time in the NBA, and in the days leading up to the matchup, LaVar’s TMZ Sports interview popped back up and got some buzz in NBA circles. Curry was even asked about it on Tuesday after a Warriors practice. He said that he wouldn’t use the clip as extra motivation heading into the game, and he even went as far as to call the comments LaVar made back in February "comic relief."
But just in case you’re wondering, LaVar has not changed his opinion with regards to his son being better than Curry. During the Warriors/Lakers game in Los Angeles on Wednesday, LaVar did an in-game interview with NBC Sports Bay Area and was asked point-blank if he still believes his son is a better player than Curry. Despite Lonzo’s early-season struggles, he didn’t hesitate to say yes, and he said that there’s pretty much nothing—except maybe death—that will ever change his opinion about it.
"Stop it! You ain’t even got to ask me that question," LaVar said. "Until I die, I will always think my son is better than Steph Curry. Always…I trained my son. I know what he’s about. You guys know what Steph’s about. I don’t know what Steph’s about. He’s a good player. But to me…He can be a 10-time MVP. I still don’t think he’s better than my son."
On the one hand, you’ve got to respect LaVar for sticking by his son, no matter what. On the other, what?!
We should point out that Lonzo managed to hold his own against Curry and the Warriors in his first ever game against them. He put up 15 points, 2 rebounds, and 10 assists to Curry’s 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists during Golden State’s 127-123 overtime victory. It actually had some people agreeing with LaVar and his Lonzo > Steph assessment.
We should also point out that Curry seems to have gone out of his way to say hello to LaVar and introduce himself to Lonzo’s brother LaMelo after the game. He reportedly spent several minutes talking with LaVar and LaMelo.
So maybe LaVar’s comments about Lonzo and Curry aren’t as crazy as we all think?
OK, they still are. But it’s also clear LaVar is just doing what he’s been doing for the last 10 months—riding as hard as he can for his son. No shame in that, even if the rest of the world is going to pump the brakes on the Lonzo vs. Steph talk until they’ve played a few more games against each other.