With the Brooklyn Nets looking like a lock to give the Celtics the best odds at the (a) top pick in the 2017 draft Danny Ainge could very well be tempted to select UCLA's star point guard Lonzo Ball with his early selection. Most draft "experts" have Ball pegged as the likely #2 selection in the draft after Washington Huskies point guard Markelle Fultz. With UCLA being eliminated from the NCAA Tournament Friday by Kentucky night Ball wasted no time announcing his eligibility for the 2017 NBA draft:
Lonzo Ball declares for NBA Draft! After UCLA Loses to Kentucky in Sweet Sixteen NCAA Tournament! pic.twitter.com/VDZjv43jV3— SportzNowLive © (@SportzNowLive) March 25, 2017
Note the reporter at the end mentioning Lonzo's dad has been saying he's one-and-done all season. In fact Lonzo's dad, Lavar Ball, has been doing a ton of crazy talk about both of his sons (and himself). In particular papa Ball has said that both kids, Lonzo and his younger brother LaMelo, deserve billion dollar shoe deals, will be better than Steph Curry, and how he himself could beat Michael Jordan in a game of 1 on 1 - according to him he's never lost so that's proof enough.
While nobody will fault a father for talking up his kids, Lavar has taken it to ridiculous levels that perhaps peaked earlier this week when he got into a laughable exchange with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN's First Take:
For anyone who missed Lavar Ball on First Take 😂💀— JT Seijuro (@negro_amigo3) March 23, 2017
Asked about his father's antics and whether or not it effects him Lonzo shrugged it off saying he just worries about playing. Via Andrew Joseph of USA Today:
“My dad’s a funny guy. People were coming up to me and saying, ‘Are you embarrassed? Your dad said you’re going to win the championship.’ No, I’m not embarrassed. I know how he’s going to act. I just go out there and play. Let him be him.”
Personally I think the guy is hysterical, but you have to wonder if his ridiculous antics could potentially hurt Lonzo's draft stock this summer with so many good options near the top of this year's draft class. According to Bobby Manning of The Vertical that's not likely the case:
Does LaVar Ball impact Lonzo Ball’s draft stock? @ChrisMannixYS and @BobbyMarks42 examine. pic.twitter.com/btfgvdR07Z— The Vertical (@TheVertical) March 17, 2017
Even Ainge spoke on Ball and his father during his weekly radio appearance on Toucher & Rich and noted he would never hold a player's family against him when it comes down to evaluating a potential addition to the Celtics. Via A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com:
“I would never hold a player’s family against a player if I like a player,” Ainge said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show.
Whether or not Ball is near the top of Ainge's draft board this summer is a mystery, just know that his dad's relentless efforts to hype his kids and himself won't be factor for the Celtics front office if he's available when they make their first selection in this years draft.
Photo Credit - USA Today
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Mark Allison 3/26/2017 02:03:00 PM Tweet Edit