Lonzo Ball made his NBA debut on Thursday night. It was not great. The Los Angeles Lakers lost and Lonzo scored 3 points on 1-of-6 shooting with 9 rebounds and 4 assists. What’s he going to do differently in his next game? Who knows. Here’s his father shouting at Stephen A. Smith on live television moments after the season opener.
Mostly nonsense, but the one part where he says someone needs to run down the middle of the floor is officially his first public criticism of Lonzo’s teammates. I wonder how the Lakers feel about that? Remember that before the Lakers drafted Lonzo they had a meeting at the Ball family house where they got an assurance that LaVar Ball’s act was just that. Via ESPN:
As Johnson recalls, “He said, ‘Earvin, look, I’m not following my son. I’m not going to be hanging out in L.A. I’m going to be training these young kids [his other sons].'”
“‘As far as training my boy, this is as far as I can take him,'” LaVar says he told Johnson. “‘I’ll leave it up to you to take him further. You can get him better with the film time and the coaching. You can take him to another level.'”
More from the aftermath of game 1. Via ESPN:
“Yeah, you shut the m—–f—– down,” LaVar Ball told ESPN after the game. “And your check still ain’t going to go no higher than what it is. Yeah, you shut him down. OK … Who is Patrick Beverley? He played all last year and nobody said nothing about him. Now we are looking at your first game. Why? Because Lonzo’s name is attached to it.”
“I told him, due to all the riff-raff his dad brings, he’s going to get a lot of people coming at him and he has to be ready for that,” Beverley said. “He has to perform on a stage like this every night. It’s not only going to be me. It’s going to be a lot of people trying to go at his head.”
I’d like to tell Lonzo it will get better, but that doesn’t seem likely.