Lonzo Ball didn’t end up in Philadelphia, but that doesn’t mean his dad has to stay silent about the Sixers.
Ball joined Rob Ellis and Geoff Mosher Thursday on 97.5 The Fanatic. They discussed LaVar's expectations for Lonzo and the Lakers (they're high), the Big Baller Brand (which apparently is selling “good”) and, of course, LaVar’s outspoken presence in his son’s career. But that’s all stuff we’ve heard countless times since the Ball family became apart of the national conversation thanks to Lonzo’s success at UCLA and position on most team’s draft boards.
Then “The Process” was brought up.
You might remember earlier this month when Sixers’ special advisor Jerry Colangelo, the father of current Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, had a few words to say on WIP regarding the Lonzo.
"I think Ball is a terrific prospect and could have an outstanding NBA future," Colangelo said on June 2. "I think it's going to be challenging with the people around him without being specific, and yet I don't think teams should bypass the player because they have those concerns. I think at the end of the day what wins in this league is talent and this is a very talented young man."
LaVar didn’t need Colangelo to be specific. He got the message and threw the same sentiment right back at him when Ellis and Mosher asked about the situation here in Philly.
"You know how you say I'm involved? The other guy, Colangelo, the father — he's the one messing it up,” Ball said. “He's worried about everything on the outside instead of getting the players. He's worried about the parents and all that. The people they're around. He needs to be worried about what type of player you getting for your system.”
LaVar, who is now attempting to launch a brand headlined by sneakers that start at $495, questioned Colangelo’s credibility.
“What have you got? All you did was for the USA team and now your son is running the business over there and you're a so-called consultant. You a helicopter parent, over there trying to tell your son what to do.”
Then the conversation moved to the hypothetical, specifically what LaVar would’ve done had Lonzo gone to the Sixers at their original No. 3 draft slot. Even though LaVar didn’t like Colangelo’s take on the role family plays in Lonzo’s life, he wouldn’t have contested if the Sixers ultimately drafted his son.
“Lonzo would've went and played because here's the thing: Lonzo's goal was to get to the NBA. OK, so it didn't matter what team he played for. That's what I was trying to tell people. I prefer for him to play for the Lakers.
“... He's homegrown. It's a better storyline with all of him going in there. Nobody else fit. Time Warner gives them — they need a superstar to keep putting the Lakers on TV. That's what I mean by the people's choice. And you can't be selfish if you the people's choice.”
Something gives me a feeling Lakers games would’ve remained televised had Lonzo gone elsewhere, but that’s neither here nor there. Yet it was LaVar’s own television appearance last week at the draft that sparked comment from two Sixers — Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons — on an even smaller screen.
Please dunk on him so hard that his daddy runs on the court to save him.. https://t.co/cMvt5RYiSQ— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 22, 2017
And so LaVar had a response to that, too.
“If you don't win and don't even make the playoffs and don't even stay on the court long enough, that's the best thing you can do is tweet.” Ball said. “... Ain't nobody else doing that because they working on they game in the gym. These guys ain't play the game, always hurt and that's the bottom of the totem pole. So guess what? Get your asses off the goddamn Tweeter and get in the gym.”
The lack of wins has been part of the rebuttal for those against The Process and skeptical of Sixers' first overall pick Markelle Fultz, who won nine games, including just two Pac-12 contests, during his lone year at Washington. For his final Sixers hot take, add LaVar to that camp as well.
“I ain't got nothing against Fultz. That boy can play,” Ball said. “But if you really that good, your team gotta go at least .500 if you got a bunch of blind midgets.”