He was supposed to be the face that brought the Los Angeles Lakers back to their championship form.
LaVar Ball has lapped up the limelight of his son Lonzo being taken with the number two pick in the NBA Draft. By the end of the evening, the Lakers had added not only Ball, but also power forward Kyle Kuzma (No. 27 pick) of Utah, swingman Josh Hart (No. 30 pick) of Villanova and big man Thomas Bryant (No. 42 pick) of Indiana.
The Lakers don't appear concerned by LaVar Ball, the voluble father with aspirations of building a global sports empire around his three talented sons.
"Yes! Yes!" the elder Ball told ESPN not far away from where the rest of the Ball family and friends sat where the families and draft picks sat by the stage.
Pelinka rhapsodized about Ball's passing skills, comparing the teenager to Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Magic himself - and even Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. "Right now, I'm hoping [Lonzo] leads us to a couple summer league victories, and we'll take it from there", Walton responded.
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D'Angelo Russell was a first-round draft pick and the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
"Me and my agent talked and we just didn't feel like they had much interest in drafting me at No. 1, so we felt like it would be sort of a waste of time for me to go out and work out if they were really not considering drafting me", Jackson said. Come see me when he does.
"I went to the high school", Johnson said.
The experiment was so unsuccessful that UCLA and Ball opted to scrap the idea after the team's preseason tour of Australia, where Ball looked nothing like the player he would become for the Bruins. I think everybody understands playing with somebody with Lonzo's talent will make them better and also get them easier baskets. "I think that you also are gauging and evaluating his son on his ability and what he can do not only on the basketball court but also what he can do for your team".
He averaged 23 points per game, along with more than five rebounds and five assists.
Kuzma impressed the Lakers in a recent draft workout with an outside shooting touch complementing his physical inside game. Players as young as 18 are put under the microscope and dissected by scouts and National Basketball Association teams. This past season, Hart led the Big East in points per game (18.1), player efficiency rating (28.1) and win shares (7.7).