Over the past few years, LaVar Ball’s influence on the basketball world has faded, but the Big Baller himself is still trying to speak things into existence. His latest efforts to bend events to his will came in an interview earlier this summer, when he said he didn’t want his son LaMelo Ball to be drafted by the Golden State Warriors.
The youngest Ball son is expected to be a top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft this fall, and the Warriors have the No. 2 overall pick. Depending on how things go, Ball might already be off the board by the time the Warriors are on the clock, and that’s if the Warriors even end up keeping the pick.
But whatever happens, LaMelo isn’t concerned with his dad’s comments. In an interview with reporters on Monday, the 19-year-old said he can fit in with any team. Via ESPN:
“Well, I’m my own man. He’s his own man. He has his opinions, I have mine. Like I said, I feel I could play on any team and do good anywhere I go, so anything that happens, I’m positive. Anywhere is a great fit. I mean, it’s the NBA. You put me with good players, I feel like it’s even gonna be better.”
Ball has had a fascinating journey, leaving high school to play professionally in Lithuania in one of LaVar’s schemes, before returning stateside to play at SPIRE Institute, a prep school in Ohio. With questions surrounding his eligibility to play in NCAA, he made his way to Australia, joining the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks. He registered multiple triple-doubles and won the league’s Rookie of the Year Award, despite the fact that he left the team in January after suffering a bruised foot.
Since returning to the States, Ball has been preparing for the draft with his manager, Jermaine Jackson Sr. There’s no clear consensus for the No. 1 pick this year, in what is seen as a rather weak class. But with his size at the point guard position, and high-level passing ability, Ball has established himself as one of the leading candidates.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have not made any decisions about whether or not they want to trade the No. 1 overall pick, but if they end up keeping it, Ball is likely to be their selection, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, reported earlier this week.