LaVar Ball - Best Father in the NBA?
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LaVar Ball should be crowned father of the year. The father of Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo, LaVar Ball has what few have others possess: three sons in the NBA. This milestone was achieved this year in the 2020 NBA Draft when LaMelo Ball was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the third pick in the draft. LaMelo and Lonzo Ball are the only two brothers in NBA history to get drafted in the top three of their respective drafts. LiAngelo Ball went to the D-League first, and this year, he signed his first contract with the Detroit Pistons. However, the journey was not easy and LaVar Ball had to work extremely hard to give his sons the best chance for a spot in the NBA.
LaVar Ball ensured that his sons got the media attention they needed to become ranked high school players. The Chino Hills High School team in which the three sons played is considered one of the best high school basketball teams in the country. The team consisted of extremely talented prospects who put on a show for their crowds. One memorable performance was LaMelo dropping a 92 point game en route to an undefeated run to the California State Championship. After his sons graduated high school, LaVar decided to take a unique approach for LaMelo and LiAngelo. He took his two younger sons to Lithuania to play professionally and later took them to Australia to play professionally there. LaVar decided to not take the conventional college route so that LaMelo and LiAngelo can improve. LaVar decided to do this so that his kids could go to a new country and focus on only basketball.
Lavar said that he was going to have Lonzo get drafted by the Lakers, and he made it happen. Lonzo had the chance to start for the Lakers and play with Lebron James in his second year with the Lakers. Lonzo was then traded to New Orleans, where he played alongside Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. Lonzo is already one of the elite passers in the NBA and is poised to have a breakout season this year.
LiAngelo is less known than his two brothers but shouldn't be underestimated. Due to an incident in China, he wasn’t able to play for UCLA during the season and played overseas with LaMelo. After playing overseas, LiAngelo played for the D-League and has finally signed a contract with the Pistons allowing him to play this season with his brothers.
LaVar is known for making ridiculous claims and acting a clown on TV. However, his personality on television helped his sons gain publicity. For instance, on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, LaVar Ball made the ridiculous claim that he could beat Michael Jordan in a 1v1 basketball game. We will never know whether he was being serious or whether he did it for the publicity, but he had everyone talking about him and his sons after his night on the show.
The Ball brothers are a part of an exclusive group of brothers who have played in the NBA together. It’s hard enough to get one child into the NBA, but LaVar Ball made the necessary sacrifices and worked his children so that they could achieve athletic success: he accompanied his kids to the gym while they were working hard perfecting their craft and even opened up his own reality TV show to try and gain publicity for his children.
Ultimately, it's important to remember that LaVar had a very short career in the NFL. But it seems as though he has decided to live his athletic dreams through his children. Lavar Ball might not have been the best athlete back in his day, but he certainly will become one of the best basketball dads in history.