Somewhat lost in the shuffle of a jam-packed news day for the Los Angeles Lakers was the fact that Lavar Ball hopped on Fox Sports 1 to share his side of the recent drama in the organization. While Lavar made a number of bold proclamations ranging from saying that Lonzo Ball was the face of the Lakers to saying that LeBron wasn’t a self-made brand, one story stood out from the rest and seemed to be rooted in some truth.
Lavar Ball Says Lakers Backed Out on Promise to LiAngelo
In his interview on Skip and Shannon, Sharpe directly asked Lavar if Magic Johnson had misled him regarding LiAngelo’s chances of making the Lakers. Lavar said yes and went on to elaborate a bit more in detail.
“One of the things they told me is, ‘We keep family together.’ Now if you want Lonzo to lead this team, why don’t you get a piece that works well with him which is his brother? You gotta get ‘Gelo first. You at least got to give him a chance to play with Lonzo.” Lavar added, “You should have at least got him in Summer League. I thought they were going to take him with the last pick.”
To the Lakers’ credit, LiAngelo Ball did participate in some pre-draft workouts but shot the ball at a terrible clip. After a tumultuous year where he was arrested in China, subsequently left UCLA, and then went back overseas to play in Lithuania, LiAngelo arrived at the NBA’s doorstep far from a finished product.
However, the fact that the Magic and Rob made a promise to Lavar that apparently held no weight is a bit concerning, especially regarding the rumors around the league that nobody trusts GM Rob Pelinka.
LiAngelo Ball Hoping to Score Summer League Invite This Time Around
After going undrafted and missing out on the summer league last season, LiAngelo Ball has been hitting the gym hard with his father the past season in order to get another crack at the NBA.
Despite being away from competitive basketball for the better part of a year, Lavar feels confident that LiAngelo is going to end up with another shot in the summer league this year.
“There’s no way they not going to take him this year on the fact that Gelo gets better every year.” Lavar said on Ball in the Family, “I don’t care what everybody says: He gets better, bigger, stronger every year. Every year he gets better.”
LiAngelo profiles as an off-ball scorer who thrived playing alongside his brother back in their high school days. While his shot has been inconsistent at best since leaving Chino Hills, he might be worth a spot on this year’s summer league team – which profiles to be MUCH weaker/thinner compared to years past. The Lakers need outside shooting and on the off chance ‘Gelo turns into an NBA caliber player next to Lonzo, it seems to be a no-risk, high-reward situation.