Following the 2017 NBA Draft, LaVar Ball, the father of former UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, made the lucrative claim that all three of his sons would reach the NBA. Lonzo was the second pick of the 2017 draft, landing with Magic Johnson’s Lakers. LaVar had been making headlines all throughout the previous year, the basis of his claims involving the talent of his sons.
Appearing on many ESPN shows, LaVar Ball build his brand, Big Baller Brand, and explained how he would “speak his claims into existence.” At the time, his son LiAngelo had recently been pulled from the UCLA Bruins. Additionally, his other son, LaMelo, was still in high school. Not a soul in the sports world took LaVar seriously. No one believed LaMelo or LiAngelo would reach the NBA, and many felt that Lonzo was overrated. The media always failed to give Ball credit for raising three immensely talented basketball players.
In 2018, LiAngelo and LaMelo moved to Lithuania to play basketball overseas, at the orders of LaVar. The Ball father was again criticized for this decision. No talented high school basketball players had ever taken this route to the NBA before. The belief in the Ball family was at an all-time low, and the world began to forget about LaVar Ball.
Then, just over two weeks ago, LaVar had a second son reach the NBA. Australia’s Illawarra Hawks point guard LaMelo Ball was the third overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft by Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets. So, LaVar Ball became the father of two top three draft selections, both of whom were drafted by the legendary Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Obviously, LaVar had done something right.
Today, the final piece of LaVar’s masterful plan was put in place. LiAngelo Ball signed a one-year non-guaranteed deal with the Detroit Pistons. In just over three years, LaVar Ball saw his three sons reach the NBA. Only one person predicted this; LaVar himself.
Whether you love or hate LaVar and his sons, it is time the Ball father deserves credit. He raised his three sons to become NBA players, and they accomplished that goal. And, Ball build a brand in the process. How many NBA fathers have the media attention that LaVar has? Regardless of how his sons perform in the pros, LaVar helped to guarantee his family millions on millions of dollars.
No, we must not forget about the talent and work ethic of Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo. However, without their father, they certainly would not be in the position they all are today. While not all of LaVar’s lucrative claims came true, his most important one did today. He said all three of his sons would reach the NBA, and he “spoke it into existence.”