LaVar Ball Says Zion Williamson Wouldn’t Have the Same 'Buzz' Without Lonzo
LaVar Ball had some things he needed to get off his chest, and Complex's 'Load Management' podcast gave him the platform to speak his mind.
LaVar Ball had some things he needed to get off his chest, and the 'Load Management' podcast gave him the platform to speak his mind.
When talking about his son Lonzo's first year with the New Orleans Pelicans, LaVar unsurprisingly felt like it was a success, raving about how his son was able to contribute because head coach Alvin Gentry gave the eldest Ball child the freedom to operate the offense. LaVar also said that Zion Williamson benefited from Lonzo's play, and wouldn't have garnered the same attention if it weren't for him.
"Take my boy out the situation and see how much buzz you get," Ball said. "He'd probably still be out for the season." Ball added that Lonzo's play was essential to unlocking Zion's game. "I don't care how fast you can run and jump, if you ain't got nobody to get you that ball, guess what you going to be doing? Running and jumping out there for nothing," he explained.
In an effort to support his argument, Kyle Kuzma caught a stray from LaVar, who argued that Lonzo's absence led to his former Lakers teammate's statistical decline this season. Kuzma averaged 12.5 points per game in the 2019-20 campaign, compared to 18.7 the previous year.
Kuzma's decline however, may have more to do with the addition of Anthony Davis, who Ball doesn't seem to have much regard for. He couldn't be pursuaded into thinking that the Pelicans would fall to the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, even though L.A. won all four of their regular season games.
When talk turned to LaMelo Ball's stock heading into the draft, LaVar challenged Jay Bilas' recent criticism that his youngest son had a "Kardashian-like come-up."
"You want all your superstars to come from a humble beginning, and from the ghetto for you to like ‘em? That’s basically what you’re trying to say," Ball said. "Who cares about Melo how he came up? With money or whatever. Here’s the thing: he came up being respectful, never seen him in no trouble." LaVar disputed the perspective that since his children's upbringing was different from those prospects who came from humble beginnings, they weren't as motivated as their peers.
Listen to LaVar's interview in its entirety up top.