LaVar Ball deserves some credit because he’s doing his best to hit the damage control button after his son was moved in the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis trade. After previously making comments that he did not want Lonzo Ball as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans and would prefer him to go to a third team, LaVar has now backtracked hard.
Lonzo’s father appeared on ESPN’s First Take and during a discussion with Stephen A. Smith said that he wanted his son to land with the Pelicans all along.
Stephen A. Smith: “You’re sitting here telling me that the reason why you said you didn’t want to be in New Orleans and that he’s not going anywhere, he’ll never get traded from the Lakers, is because you wanted him traded from the Lakers?”
LaVar Ball: “That’s exactly what I wanted to do. One of the best teams he’s going to play on is New Orleans. Great. With him at the one, Aaron at the two, Ingram at the three, Zion at the four, and Julius at the five? You give my boy running teams like that we’re going to run loose.”
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Stephen A. then proceeded to ask LaVar if he felt that way before the Pelicans landed the No. 1 pick and the chance to add Zion, to which he responded: “Oh, yes, I’m just that good. It’s exactly what I wanted.”
For what it’s worth, Julius Randle declined his player option for next year, so he’ll test free agency. Even still, the Pelicans do have a strong roster, but based on LaVar’s previous comments, it’s hard to believe he truly means what he’s saying currently.
LaVar Ball’s Previous Comments on Lonzo Ball Trade
Back when the talks around the potential for the Lakers to acquire Davis via trade ramped up, LaVar made it known that he did not want his son in New Orleans. Not only that, but he stated that if he is traded, the Phoenix Suns were the best fit for Lonzo, as ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk reported.
“We want to be in L.A.,” LaVar Ball told ESPN. “But if he’s traded, I don’t want Lonzo in New Orleans. Phoenix is the best fit for him. And I am going to speak it into existence.”
These comments came just prior to the NBA trade deadline when things began to heat up between the Lakers and Pelicans. Obviously, a deal didn’t come to fruition at that point, but LaVar’s hopes (at least then) also didn’t play out in the end either.
LaVar Ball Rips Lakers Over Anthony Davis Trade
Whether LaVar wants Lonzo on the Pelicans or not is up for debate, but one thing that we know with certainty is that he’s not happy with the Lakers following the trade. The outspoken father guaranteed the Lakers will never win another championship shortly after the deal, as ESPN‘s Ohm Youngmisuk revealed.
“I guarantee… it will be the worst move the Lakers ever did in their life and they will never win another championship. Guarantee it.” LaVar stated.
That was followed up by a question about whether he thinks the Lakers will regret making this trade. Not surprisingly, Ball pulled no punches while ripping into the 21-year-old’s former team.
“They’re gonna regret it, I’m going to have fun with it. I told y’all it was crashing down, now it’s completely crashed, but at least my son got off the boat before the thing exploded. I gave them a chance. You can rewind it and go back and I said if you get the three Ball brothers, you’re going to survive this. You let them go? It’s going to be a cold day in hell.” Ball said, via Youngmisuk.
While LaVar is obviously feeling all kinds of emotions about this deal, both the Pelicans and Lakers have to be happy with how it played out. It hurts for New Orleans to lose a player of Davis’ caliber, but they retooled by adding multiple instant-impact players and have the upside to be a playoff team in 2019.